Recycling for the Hospitality Sector

Recycling Services for Hospitality

The hospitality sector has some unavoidable waste streams, ranging from food waste to rubbish left behind by hotel guests and other customers – but there are steps you can take to make sure you give customers and staff everything they need to minimise landfill waste and maximise recycling.

As a business operator, that can help to reduce your costs for waste disposal, and unlocks the door to some positive PR possibilities if you are able to become one of the more eco-friendly operators in your area.

Hospitality in particular is an industry where reputation and public perception really count, so the impact on your bottom line from any environmentally aware improvements you make can go far beyond the direct benefits of cost savings and improved resource efficiency.

Why recycle in the hospitality sector?

Food waste is a major source of hospitality industry waste, with over 500,000 tonnes of food thrown away each year in UK pubs, hotels, restaurants and quick service foodservice establishments.

That’s equivalent to nearly a billion plates of food, according to Wrap, and with food prices increasing, cutting edible waste makes good sense – along with diverting it from landfill to more valuable destinations ranging from animal feed to energy generation.

But it’s not just edible waste that matters. Other substances are common waste products in hospitality too, for example glass and metal waste from bottles, cans and other such containers.

Recycling these kinds of materials can help to reduce the total weight of non-recycled waste substantially in different parts of the industry:

  • 16% waste weight reduction in hotels.
  • 30% waste weight reduction in pubs.
  • 98% waste weight reduction in nightclubs.

The total reduction depends on the quantities and types of waste you generate – if you’re in part of the industry where most of your commercial waste is empty bottles, such as in nightclubs, this explains the much higher potential savings than for example hotels, where waste might include guests’ rubbish, old linens and so on.

How is recycling beneficial in hospitality?

Many of the benefits of recycling in hospitality are the same as in other industries – reduced waste disposal costs, better handling of heavy materials like glass, and faster disposal of unhygienic and hazardous substances, such as sharp broken glass or biodegradable food waste.

There are some ways in which recycling can have specific benefits for hospitality operators though:

  • Freeing up valuable storage space in large hotels with large daily waste output.
  • A visible commitment to segregating recyclable waste in public and communal areas.
  • Separated ‘clean’ waste that can be easier for staff to dispose of with fewer hygiene precautions.
  • Encourage other kinds of resource efficiency from patrons, such as reduced water consumption.

Waste legislation in the hospitality sector

As a business operator, you must fulfil the same Duty of Care to handle waste correctly that applies to industrial, manufacturing and office-based businesses alike.

This means any waste generated must be stored appropriately and in a way that ensures the safety of humans on the premises.

In hospitality of course, you may be more likely to have members of the public on-site as customers and even as overnight guests, so it is even more important to make sure you meet this Duty of Care in full, and Gaskells can help you to do this in an organised and cost-effective way.

Your waste disposal strategy should ensure that you:

  • Store waste in a safe and secure way.
  • Accurately describe the waste you produce.
  • Keep certain types of waste segregated – especially hazardous substances.
  • Use registered waste carriers to remove it from your premises.
  • Obtain waste transfer notes and maintain sufficient records.

Gaskells can carry out a waste audit to identify any areas where your existing arrangements can be improved, as well as providing the containers you need to collect and segregate different types of waste ready for removal.

How can hospitality operators get involved in recycling?

The customer-facing side of hospitality gives you good opportunities to generate some real engagement with the guests of your establishment, whether they spend a few hours or several days with you.

In practical terms, make sure you provide recycling bins in easily accessible places – don’t assume customers will go far out of their way to get to the right kind of recycling container.

Make sure you have enough capacity so no one kind of bin is ever completely full, as this can quickly lead to customers cross-contaminating other types of waste by using the only available bins.

And work with an experienced, professional waste disposal contractor like Gaskells to make certain that your collection schedule removes materials before an excessive quantity accumulates on-site, so that they can be taken for recycling and put back into the supply chain as soon as possible.

Some more ideas for recycling in hospitality businesses

Some more ways you can improve engagement with both customers and employees include:

  • Publishing recycling statistics and improvements made over time.
  • Offering incentives to hotel guests who avoid disposing of waste destined for landfill.
  • Engaging with employees throughout your business so they all understand the different types of waste you handle.
  • Promoting ‘little and often’ emptying of bins in public areas so they do not become overfilled or cross-contaminated.

More ideas can stem from your Gaskells waste audit, as it can help you to see the specific types of waste you generate in the largest quantities, and these might be worth some extra special attention as you attempt to reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible.

Our waste collections are available daily, weekly and fortnightly – giving you plenty of flexibility to have your most common types of waste collected more frequently, or leave it a little longer for items that do not accumulate quite so fast.

We have different sizes of container too, which works alongside the frequency of collection for a multi-dimensional way to ensure you have all the capacity you need.

Contact Gaskells today for a free waste management audit on 0345 305 2615

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