Waste Management in the Hospitality Industry

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  • 0:03 A Look at the Waste Problem
  • 1:01 Why Is Waste a Problem?
  • 1:59 What Are Hotels Doing to Help?
  • 3:55 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Brianna Whiting

Brianna has a masters of education in educational leadership, a DBA business management, and a BS in animal science.

Providing rooms for guests can be very costly for hotels. One way to reduce that cost is to reduce wasteful habits. In this lesson, we'll learn about waste management habits and tips for the hospitality industry.

A Look at the Waste Problem

When was the last time you stayed in a hotel? How many times a year do you stay at a hotel? Now think about all of the other people living in this country. Think about how many of them stay in hotels. That's a lot of hotel stays when you look at the big picture! While hotel life is often enjoyable, it takes a lot of work to get the rooms ready for guests.

The room must be cleaned after the previous guest and supplied with all of the complimentary goodies. Trash must also be removed and disposed of properly. With around 13,600,000 tons of garbage collected and thrown away each year from hotel guests, it's no wonder that many hotels are trying to come up with solutions to minimize this huge waste footprint, or impact on the environment.

Let's look at some of the problems this causes as well as techniques and routines hotels are resorting to in order to reduce waste.

Why Is Waste a Problem?

Much like we do in our own homes, hotels have to pay for the removal of their waste. Because hotel guests can create up to 2 pounds of waste a night, paying for waste removal can get expensive.

Once the hotels collect all of their waste, they need a place to put it. This results in filling up landfills, which is not only detrimental to the environment, but expensive. As the amount of space available becomes smaller, landfills begin to charge more for the removal of waste, which, again, contributes to the high costs of waste removal.

Pollution is another consideration. The landfills give off carbon dioxide and methane gases that pollute the air. And, the fuel needed to transfer the waste to the landfills also increases greenhouse gas emissions. Lastly, waste can soak into the soil and lead to contamination of water.

What Are Hotels Doing to Help?

Due to the several negative effects of waste, hotels are trying to eliminate the amount of waste they contribute. Here are some practices that help hotels reduce waste:

1. Recycle - Perhaps one of the biggest ways to eliminate waste is to recycle. Hotels are now putting multiple bins in their rooms for guests to recycle their waste. Recycling waste lowers their waste costs and reduces their environmental footprint.

2. Donate - Obviously towels and linens do not last forever. However, instead of throwing them away, hotels are finding new uses for them. They can be used for cleaning or donated to those who need them.

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