One hotel guest produces 2.5 pounds of trash every single day. Just a single hotel room produces around one cubic yard of waste each month, which totals 200 gallons of waste per room every month. Most of this waste goes straight to the landfill, even though research shows that up to 60% of it is actually recyclable.
Due to mounting environmental concerns and public pressure, more hotels, motels, and resorts are considering hospitality recycling. But recycling for hotels isn’t as straightforward as you might think.
Of course, there are the standard recyclables that guests deposit in the trash receptacles in their rooms, but there are several other additional items hospitality businesses should be recycling, which they may not even know they can. Let’s take a look.
The Importance of Hospitality Recycling
From an environmental standpoint, hospitality recycling is pretty important. If the estimated 50-60% of recyclable trash in hotels isn’t being recycled, then it’s ending up in our already overcrowded landfills.
Since there are more than 700,000 hotels and resorts worldwide and approximately 4 million rooms, this amounts to about 800,000 million pounds of waste generated every single month by the hospitality industry.
This isn’t only bad for the environment, though. It’s also bad for public sentiment. As consumers become increasingly eco-conscious, the hospitality industry must keep pace – or risk losing customers to greener alternatives.
Beyond that, diverting waste away from traditional waste streams can actually help businesses save money on waste management costs and contribute to their ESG scores and portfolio. Ultimately, establishing a hospitality recycling program is good for the environment and business.
The 8 Things Your Hospitality Business Should Be Recycling
To have an effective hospitality recycling program, it’s important to know which items to recycle – because recycling for hotels requires much more than just separating out discarded items into waste and recyclables.
Here are eight items your hospitality business should consider recycling.
- Soaps: Roughly 2 million bars of soap are thrown away in the U.S. daily because most people don’t know they’re recyclable. Every time a guest checks out, a bar of soap is left behind to toss out. Instead of throwing it out, consider recycling it.
- Candles: Most people don’t know that candles can be recycled. With the right technology and infrastructure, candles can be source-separated, and the wax, tin cover, glass, wicks, and packaging can all be recycled or donated.
- Lotions and Shampoos: Leftover lotions and shampoos can usually be donated to homeless shelters, and the empty bottles can be recycled. Bottles can even be debranded first to ensure your brand isn’t harmed in the process.
- Cleaning Products: From detergents and disinfectants to aerosols, polishes, and more, hotels use many different cleaning products, which may be recyclable (especially the containers) or have specific disposal instructions.
- Towels: Hospitality businesses go through a lot of towels. Rather than tossing those towels out, where they’ll contribute to the 17 million tons of textiles going to our landfills each year, hotels should consider recycling them.
- Sheets: Like towels, hotels can (and should) consider a textile recycling program to dispose of their sheets sustainably.
- Mattresses: The U.S. throws out up to 20 million mattresses each year, which takes up 132,000 miles of landfill space, even though as much as 75% of every mattress can be recycled. Hospitality businesses dispose of countless mattresses, so it’s important to add them to your recycling plan.
- E-waste: While hotels aren’t the biggest contributors of e-waste, they throw out many TVs, appliances, and computers when it’s time for an upgrade. That’s why having a plan for recycling your e-waste is an essential part of recycling for hotels.
Making Recycling for Hotels Easy: Get Started Today
Getting started with hospitality recycling is easy when you partner with a sustainability company specializing in recycling for hotels.
CheckSammy has the infrastructure and technology to customize a hospitality recycling program that can handle all the items your hotel needs to recycle (including the eight items we shared here).
Best of all, we use unalterable, track-and-trace data to show you exactly what happens when your junk leaves your property. In other words, you have proof for your ESG board and customers that you’re actually doing what you say.
If you’re new to hospitality recycling, you might even want to start with a waste assessment to see which areas your hotel could improve and what items you should be recycling. (We can help with that, too.)
If you’re ready to have a hospitality recycling program created for you, contact us today. We’d love to discuss how we can help your hotel be more sustainable.
TAKE THE FIRST STEP
Take a positive step toward reducing landfill waste. Contact us to discuss how we can help you level up your sustainability initiatives with our commercial junk removal, recycling, and analytics solutions today.