Innovative Technology in Hotel Waste Management

By Michael Hess Founder/Chief Executive Officer, Waste Harmonics | July 01, 2018

You work hard to be a go-to destination for tourists and business travelers. But attracting more visitors also results in increased waste, which greatly impacts your bottom line (and the environment). When managing your properties' waste output, how can your team lower your environmental footprint while keeping costs low and efficiencies high? The answer is in the data: Taking advantage of the newest technology will help your cost savings-and your sanity.

Make a Connection with the Cloud

You face waste difficulties whether you own a boutique hotel or a worldwide luxury hotel chain. When it comes to implementing innovative technology to manage your waste and your environmental impact, start small. Going micro will allow you to start employing tech even in the planning stages of implementation. It's isn't always about the action-proper preparation leads to success when going a new route. Consider how much cost goes into throwing away food, amenities and other waste by evaluating how much you're currently paying for hauling, landfill and environmental fees, cost of equipment and more, in addition to how your waste treatment impacts landfill use and other environmental issues.

After you calculate, you likely can reduce costs by partnering with a waste broker to customize the best approach to waste management through new innovations. For instance, many waste management brokers use cloud-based systems to aid in vendor bidding. So the very first step in taking advantage of new tech is to use it when finding a partner to further revolutionize your process.

There are thousands of vendors available for your specific needs-how do you sort through them all? Brokers will work with their network to provide competitive costs using a cloud vendor bidding system. This system allows you to post a United States or Canadian-based RFP to thousands of vendors. Using a cloud platform ensures your property has access to competitive rates across North America, and great brokers will provide an easily accessible customer portal that allows you to manage and monitor the bidding process.

Through their web-based network, brokers can recruit waste hauling business options, eliminate additional fees and surcharges, keep track of service levels and costs-as well as market analysis and seasonal fluctuations-and manage the right-sizing and cost savings of your program through hidden opportunities and the reduction of inefficiencies.

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Coming up in January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.