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Textile Recycling: Why Hotels Need to Be Doing It

Hotels and resorts are expected to have pristinely clean sheets and towels. A single stain or tattered towel can lead to a one-star review and a ruined reputation. So, it’s no surprise that hotels toss their linens the second they get a little worse for wear. But these discarded linens are a major contributor to our textile waste problem.

Recent research found that bed linen waste accounts for 10 million tons of the textile waste produced by the United States every year. In total, 72% of all bed linens end up in landfills.

When you pair those statistics with the knowledge that 76-80% of linens that hotels toss aren’t actually ready to go in the garbage, we have a real problem on our hands. It’s clear that there’s an environmental need for the hospitality industry to adopt textile recycling programs, especially since redyeing and deep cleaning can extend the life of most discarded hotel textiles.

But it’s more than just the eco-conscious thing to do. There are several other advantages to recycling those hotel bed sheets.

5 Benefits of Having a Textile Recycling Program for Hospitality Organizations

There are many reasons to consider creating a textile recycling program for your hotel — here are the top five.

  1. Less Hassle: Getting rid of soiled linens isn’t always easy. But, with an official textile recycling program, you simply place collection bins in an accessible area for staff to toss unwanted hotel sheets, towels, linens, cloth napkins, and other textiles into. Your textile recycling vendor will either pick them up on a schedule or on-demand, making getting rid of your unwanted linens a breeze.
  2. Accurate Data: Having a comprehensive textile recycling program also helps your hotel or resort meet its ESG goals by providing authenticated, verifiable data detailing what textiles were collected and where they ended up. ESG reporting is becoming increasingly important to meet government regulations, and with a textile recycling program, you can get charts, graphs, and complete chain of custody records for your ESG and sustainability scores.
  3. Fewer Fees: By putting a textile recycling program in place, the chances of getting fined for improper textile disposal or dumpster overage fees drop significantly.
  4. Marketing Opportunities: Around 66% of people are willing to pay more money for sustainable brands, and 77% of travelers are more likely to book an eco-conscious hotel over a less sustainable one. So, having proof of your sustainability with verifiable recycling data will enable you to appeal to a more eco-aware consumer, and possibly even boost your rates as well.
  5. Tax Incentives: If you’re an enterprise in the hospitality space, developing a textile recycling program can also mean more tax incentive rebates as you increase your ESG score.

How Textile Recycling Works in the Hospitality Industry

The reality is that you probably won’t have tons of reusable linens. But the useable textiles you do have can often be donated to hostels, homeless shelters, local resellers, and charities, which is a much better alternative than the landfill.

Some companies specialize in revitalizing hotel sheets. They work specifically to remove stains using specialty equipment or dye them to give them new life. There are even companies that turn hotel sheets into t-shirts.

When donation isn’t possible, there are several ways to recycle sheets. They can be repurposed as padding, paper, moving blankets, cleaning supplies, and more, or incinerated responsibly to generate renewable energy.

Ultimately, partnering with a vendor who can do the legwork for you will go a long way. With the right partner, you can throw your linens out without sorting them and know they’re being handled responsibly after collection.

Here at CheckSammy, we customize solutions for hotels and resorts based on their individual needs. So, whether you want to donate, recycle, or get rid of your linens altogether, we have your back. We can do scheduled or on-demand pickups as well. Most importantly, we provide verified and authenticated data to show you exactly what happened with your linens. Contact us today to learn more.

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