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Planning and Development

“The hotel estimates that during 1999, 7,700 guests participated in the Green Sheets program. Their participation generated cost savings of $7,365 in laundry expenses, while reducing water consumption, energy consumption and chemical discharge.”
       — Mike Martino, General Manager
            Sheraton Imperial, Research Triangle Park, N.C.

Developing and implementing a hotel waste reduction program can have a very positive affect on your bottom line. Savings in energy consumption, water use, labor and waste handling can amount to thousands of dollars annually.

STEP 1: Appoint a “Green Team”
The team should include buyers and operations staff  anyone whose input is critical to making the program work.
STEP 2: Conduct a Waste Assessment
Examine the contents of your dumpsters to determine which items can be recycled and which can be eliminated or reduced. Also look at power and water consumption to establish ways to reduce usage of those resources. Consult your local government recycling coordinator or the DPPEA office at (919) 715-6500 for assistance. If you are in Western North Carolina, contact Waste Reduction Partners at (828) 232-5080. 
STEP 3: Establish Waste Reduction Goals
Target areas easiest to handle first, such as establishing an office paper recycling program or fixing dripping faucets. Then work your way down to the not-so-easy areas. Find out what materials you can recycle and which ones you can reduce. Establishing your goals will give you a working plan and a checklist to evaluate your progress.
STEP 4: Secure Recycling Markets
Before you collect materials, locate an agency that will recycle your materials such as soda cans, cardboard, bottles, newspapers and so on. Your local government recycling coordinator should be able to help with this task or you can call DPPEA at the phone number below.
STEP 5: Institute a Collection and Storage System
By integrating the separation and collection of recyclables into normal work procedures most hotel managers do not have to add staff to handle materials.
STEP 6: Implement Power and Water Reduction Measures
Simple measures such as installing toilet dams and low-flow shower heads and replacing incandescent lights with compact fluorescent bulbs can significantly reduce operating costs. It will also show your interest in being environmentally friendly without sacrificing guest comfort.
STEP 7: Buy Recycled Products
To fully participate in the recycling process, make a commitment to purchase products made from recycled materials. You’ll be “closing the loop” and you’ll find that recycled products are comparable to items made of new materials.
STEP 8: Train Your Staff and Promote the Program
By taking the time to train your staff and promote your program to both staff and guests, you will find that the program will go more smoothly. Be sure to recognize those who contribute to the success of the program.
STEP 9: Establish an Evaluation and Monitoring Procedure
To establish a successful program, make sure to evaluate it periodically to make sure it is matching the goals your green team has established.


Hospitality Home Page. This page was last modified on 03/10/2004.
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Tom Rhodes
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