Waste Management for Hotels, Resorts and Motels

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We get it. The 24-hour operations, diverse functions and staff positions and the fast pace, we get that those in the hospitality industry may have a harder time when it comes to managing their waste.

Achieving recycling success often means providing the right incentives for managers and staff, as well as taking advantage of ideas and resources that are usually ignored. In addition, there’s a host of support and education out there to help waste reduction and recycling goals.

Due to the many layers operating under the roof of a hotel, it can be difficult and time consuming putting together a recycling initiative. Sometimes it’s best to start small and segregate the different layers of your building.


Kitchen and Bar

Kitchen and Bars are arguably where most waste of the hotel waste is produced. With them both being the busiest areas of a hotel, it’s essential recycling and discarding of waste is quick and easy.

Having multiple bins, including a waste bin, a glass bin, cardboard bin etc all in the same place means the worker isn’t having to go out of his way to discard of waste. If the bins are visible, it also means the worker is more likely to think about what they’re throwing away and whether it can be recycled.

Unused food and drink is also a big factor when it comes to hospitality waste. Having to keep produce as fresh as possible for as long as possible isn’t always easy, and often results in a lot of it ending up in the bin. To ensure this doesn’t happen, try ordering on a daily basis, if possible, rather than in bulk. This way you can estimate how much food and drink you’re likely to use, and if you still have fresh produce that’s okay to use from the day before – you’ll save some money too.

Similarly, donating food to homeless shelters or food banks helps others and reduces the amount of waste you’re throwing away.

Did You Know: Every 250 litre wheeled bin filled with food waste costs around £240 for food purchase costs and waste disposable ones.

For more information on reducing kitchen waste, and tips for a Zero Waste Kitchen, visit our blog.


Accommodation Staff

A recycling initiative won’t work if your staff aren’t on board.  It is essential for staff to be fully briefed on the new recycling scheme. If a member of staff feels they are being made to do extra work after carrying out a grueling night shift, they’re less likely to carry the task. Informing staff on the benefits of increasing recycling efforts in the hotel is also more incentive for them to participate. Having a greater understanding on the reason they’re recycling means they’re more likely to do so.

Start with small steps. Have a two separate bags on cleaning trolleys – one for general waste and one for recycling products. This way, when a room is being cleaned, plastics and cardboards can go into separate bags straight away, and the worker doesn’t have to separate banana skins from empty cans when they’ve finished cleaning the room.



We know guests visit your hotel for a little peace and quiet, so asking little of them is essential. That’s why it’s essential to keep recycling simple and easy for them.

Put a small recycling bin next to the waste bin in their room. That’s it. If your guest sees it, they’re more likely to put their empty can in the recycling bin and not the waste bin. Also, include a sentence or two about your recycling initiatives in your guest books. Informing guests about your recycling efforts may make them, consciously, more likely to recycle.

For guests who are already waste aware, they may be more likely to return to your hotel in the future due to your recycling initiatives.


Reduce and Reuse

There’s plenty of steps to take to reduce the waste you have before you produce it.

  • Bulk containers can be used in guest rooms, for items such as shampoo and shower gel – these can be refilled by staff as required
  • Send letters to suppliers, requesting that they minimise the amount of packaging they deliver on goods supplied
  • Juices can be delivered in bulk and made available from dispensers at breakfast buffet
  • Eliminate packaging – Yoghurt and Jam are available in large serving dishes, while butter is available in small portions on plates
  • Reuse initiatives are often put in place, these tend to be specific to the hotel themselves – for help on introducing reuse initiatives specific to your hotel, get in touch.



Most hotel managers may have got to this point in the blog and thought, why should I do this?

Answer: Many hotels have found several benefits and increased exposure and bookings due to taking a greener outlook on waste. As well as saving money on sending waste to landfill and reducing the amount of money you’re spending in the first place – recycling incentives are likely to get your hotel great exposure. More and more people are looking to stay in environmentally friendly hotels, making you more appealing to potential visitors.

Are you looking to introduce a waste management system to your hotel but don’t know where to start? Get in touch today to see how we can help!

To see other businesses we’ve worked with, including Wembley Arena and New Covent Garden, visit our Client Testimonials page.