Top 10 Hotel Amenity Recycling Strategies

By Michael Hess Founder/Chief Executive Officer, Waste Harmonics | September 16, 2018

The uniqueness of your hotel's offerings helps your property stand out in a crowded hospitality marketplace, but could result in additional headaches when considering the best way to dispose of these goods. Hotel guests adore the varied accoutrements offered by accommodations big and small around the globe. But keeping an edge on in-room swag results in other considerations and complications-even when it comes time to trash the discarded leftovers. What are the most cost-effective, efficient and environmentally friendly practices when recycling amenity items guests leave behind? Here are 10 of the best ways to recycle.

1.    Thoroughly evaluate your recycling needs

Audit, audit, audit. How do you know what your needs are if you don't understand your waste output? Hotels can recycle an incredible number of amenities. A waste audit results in a thorough examination of the amount and type of waste hotels produce, as well as the source of the waste. Not all waste is created equal-your amenities may cost much more to transport and recycle. A thorough look at your practices and needs sets the baseline for future practices and allows hoteliers to tailor programs to the personalized needs of hotel properties. The type of recycling program you need is unique not only to your industry, but to your specific property. It's worth the investment up front to implement cost savings by evaluating your recycling efforts.

2.    Continuously monitor and evaluate

Not only are your waste needs unique, they also change with the seasons, just like your guests. Auditing your waste is the first step, but the real benefit comes from a continuous monitoring of a hotel owner and operator's waste output. Arguably the most oversimplified and overlooked aspect of recycling, metrics allow you to capture essential information throughout the entire process. So hoteliers will be able to understand the flow of amenity recycling from start to finish as long as you decide to evaluate it. Whether guests are recycling shampoo bottles, mouthwash containers, water bottles, newspapers or other items, the type and amount of waste fluctuates throughout time and should be closely examined so your recycling is optimized.

Partnering with a provider that will use metrics and measurements to evaluate waste flow over time is a game changer when it comes to reducing costs (and your environmental footprint). In addition, some waste solutions even include the monitoring of your entire waste system-temperature, controls and connections, safety features, performance, fullness and more. As a result, the provider can calibrate your equipment and service to your exact needs. Plus, with an increasing number of vendors taking advantage of the Internet of Things, simply renting a "smart" compactor allows hotel owners and operators to take advantage of a completely integrated product tailored to your program, with remote monitoring included.

For hoteliers who decide to monitor their recycling process, there are business platforms that capture cost reduction, track it and generate reports for recycling productivity. Remember, most waste management companies offer nice upfront savings when beginning a program. You should partner, however, with a provider that offers continuous improvement on an ongoing basis and the reporting to support it.

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Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.