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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Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.