Reducing Waste in Hotels, Motels and Resorts


Due to its extremely busy nature, and focus on customer service, waste reduction and recycling is often a neglected area in the hospitality industry. But increased disposal fees, governmental regulations, and increased environmental awareness are quickly changing the role of waste management in hotels.

As environmental consciousness increases, the hospitality industry, like most other major sectors, is realising that through greener initiatives, they can attract more travellers and appeal to a broader customer base.?Many hotels, motels and resorts in Australia are realising that they can actually save money by reducing waste and recycling. Publicising their waste reduction efforts through websites and marketing channels are also attracting environmentally-conscious guests.

The fact that proper hotel waste management has been demonstrated to be profitable certainly adds to the interest. Contributing towards a healthier environment and cleaner surroundings for the staff and customers is an additional bonus.

Audits of Australian hotels have shown that more than 80% of hotel generated waste can be recycled, reused or used for composting.

Here are some ways by which the hospitality industry can reduce waste:

1. Avoid waste

  • Switch to digital methods for information storage and communication.
  • Instead of supplying newspapers and brochures to all guests, keep them in the common lounge or dining area.
  • Use proper planning and stock control techniques to avoid food waste. In some cases surplus food can be donated to charities rather than discarded.
  • Instead of individual bottles, use jugs or dispensers for water and juices. Similarly, use glass bowls or dispensers for sugar and other condiments.

2. Reduce waste

  • Request suppliers to use less packaging on all goods and return, after use, all large containers and packaging materials that cannot be recycled.
  • Keep shower gel, shampoo etc. in dispensers to reduce wastage. Keep the half-used rolls of toilet paper for use in staff toilets.
  • Donate food delivery wood pallets to use as kindling.
  • Print on both sides of the paper for all internal documents.
  • Provide reusable bags for guest laundry.

3. Reuse where possible

  • It is now common for hotels to provide reuse option for towels and linen. This is one way of reducing laundry costs and water usage.
  • Old towels and sheets can be reused for cleaning rags.
  • Avoid use of disposable products like cups, cutlery and crockery.
  • Donate old furniture, used magazines and other such items to local charities.
  • Paper used on one side (which does not contain sensitive information) can be donated to schools or child care centres.

4. Recycle

  • Give guests the option to recycle by keeping clearly-marked bins in their rooms – a bathroom bin for contaminated waste and a room bin for recyclable paper and plastics.
  • Buy products that use recycled content – for e.g. packaging materials, toilet paper, napkins etc.
  • Use recycled paper for all promotional materials like sales letters and brochures.

5. Waste assessment, audits and reviews

A detailed waste audit and assessment of waste from individual areas of the hotel will help in identifying potential areas of improvement. Once the areas have been identified, it will be easier to tackle them individually, as different areas need different plans of action.

For hotel waste reduction efforts to really work, the full support and participation of staff, cleaners and contractors is required. Using T2 Environmental as your hotel waste management service provider takes care of this part, as our account managers are fully committed to hotel waste reduction and can help your business save money.

Waste Management Bin


Here are some further hotel waste management tips that can help hotels minimise the amount of landfill wastes, thereby saving money and resources:

  • During construction or refurbishment phases, try to use sustainable materials and arrange for separate waste handling and recycling.
  • For large events or busy seasons, arrange additional waste pickups and extra storage bins.
  • Buy cleaning products in bulk in the concentrated form. Use products with minimal packaging and those with recycled content, and try to return all crates, boxes and containers to suppliers.
  • Maintain an accurate inventory and storage system to prevent spoiling of perishable items. Using a first-in first-out system and regular, thorough checks can help avoid wastage.
  • Most kitchen and bar waste can be composted or recycled, if proper systems are in place. Excess food that has not been supplied to customers can be donated to charities.
  • Use recycled products for functions where paper bags and napkins are used. If disposable cutlery and plates have to be used, use ones that can be recycled or composted.
  • ?By providing separate bins marked ?waste? and ?recycle? in guest rooms, a large quantity of recyclable waste can be saved from landfill.
  • Switching to digital forms of communication and information storage eliminates a lot of paper waste and printer ink usage.
  • ?Furniture, used linen and other such items can be donated to charities.


Any waste minimisation plan, to work properly, needs the full support of the staff and management. Regular reviews of the plan are also essential to ensure that targets are continuously being achieved.

T2 Environmental is happy to help hotels reach their waste management goals by coming up with waste management plans that satisfy their unique needs. We welcome your call on 1300 578 707 ?to find out more about our waste and recycling management services.

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