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July 31, 2014 / BSP Marketing

How to Minimize Hotel Waste

Hotels strive to please guests. To keep visitors coming back, hotel managers must continually offer the newest and cleanest options available. Because of this, hotels run the risk of being a strain on the environment. With so much laundry, daily cleaning supplies and regular small repairs, hotels consume a great deal of resources to maintain peak performance levels.

zero waste

Fortunately more hotels are becoming aware of the advantages of being environmentally conscious. Many hotels have adopted more conservation techniques, including giving guests the option to not have their towels washed every day. While these changes may seem small, they can have a real impact on the environment over the longterm. Another excellent way to reduce waste is through hotel surplus organizations.

All hotels generate surplus as an inevitable part of their life cycle. Surplus is created when hotels upgrade their facilities, which generally happens every few years. Upgrades are often considered necessary in order to preserve customer appeal. Because guest rooms necessarily experience wear and tear, hotel furniture will often show signs of damage. If too much damage is visible, guests begin to notice. Guests do not want to pay for an unpleasant experience, and damaged, outdated furniture is disappointing for many.

It makes good business sense to upgrade furniture and decor regularly. When hotels bring in new furniture, something must be done with the furniture that is being replaced. Fortunately, thanks to environmentally conscious initiatives, there are a number of organizations available that can help deal with surplus and turn waste into earnings for everyone.

When considering these organizations, it is important to know that there are two major types of organizations available. First, there are for profit businesses that help place used hotel furniture. These surplus businesses operate all across the country, with some options that are regionally based. When considering a for profit company, it is important to look at where the business is located and how it handles the transfer of goods.

In many cases, hotels can liquidate their unwanted items quickly and interested third parties can find great deals on this furniture for their own personal or business use. This means that furniture and goods are being reused, which keeps them out of landfills. Businesses specializing in surplus will also provide some form of compensation to the hotel. Although the price will not come close to covering the cost of new furnishings, it can help offset the overall cost, which can be a great incentive to go green. There are many companies that offer this service, including Hotel Surplus, Hotel Liquidation and Alibaba.

Another alternative is working with a nonprofit organization. Some nonprofit organizations perform similar services, but with a minimum of funds exchanged. Instead of selling used items, nonprofit organizations can repurpose items and funnel them back into the community as needs arise. These donations can end up in schools, universities, charities and other places. While this does not provide as much economic gain to the hotel, it is a great way to give back to the community and ensure that nothing goes to waste. One example of an effective and creative nonprofit organization that works with hotels is San Diego based Sustainable Surplus Exchange.

Another way to minimize waste during periods of renovation is to work with existing furniture. In many cases, hotels may be able to successfully repurpose their own items and avoid buying new goods altogether. This approach is very environmentally friendly since it dramatically reduces the amount of waste generated overall. It is also cost effective since buying new is generally expensive. Many hotel owners are surprised by how good most items can look after being refurbished or repurposed. Property-wide reupholstery using eco-friendly fabrics can achieve wonders.

Hotels can choose an option that works best for their current inventory of furniture and their overall goals. Any of these options will help minimize the environmental impact of necessary upgrades. By maintaining zero waste as an objective and repurposing furniture, fixtures and equipment (known as FFEs in the hospitality industry), hotels can continue to provide top tier accommodations for their customers and simultaneously create a sustainable future.

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