How to maximise your recycling and revenue

We work with over 100 hotels across the UK and have extensive knowledge and experience of how to help hotels produce less waste and reduce their waste costs. So what do we do?

Our procurement power of over £15m a year in waste helps us achieve low waste removal costs which we pass on to you. We also work with the right local waste company for each hotel to ensure high levels of service. So assuming we have the right supplier on low lift rates, what can be done to reduce waste costs at your hotel?

Well, the first step is to try and generate less waste. We work with our hotels to look at how their raw materials and goods arrive. Can we reduce packaging, can the suppliers back-haul cardboard?

Next, is ensuring you segregate your waste as far as is practical:

  • General waste
  • Dry Mixed Recycling
  • Food
  • Glass
  • Cardboard

General waste is up to 4 times more expensive to dispose of than some waste streams. We can receive up to £60 per tonne for baled cardboard.

Much of a hotel’s waste is from guest bedrooms, and training staff on how to segregate this waste safely is key to waste cost reduction.

External waste bins need to mirror internal waste bins to maximise recycling. You also need to make sure your bin numbers and weekly collection frequencies are correct. Empty bins are a real waste. Every site also has busy and quiet periods – why not alter the collections during these times?

So what about the use of compactors? In our experience in the vast number of hotels, compactors are not cost effective. The key thing here is the cost of renting these weekly is quite high. For many sites, they are beneficial if the waste volume is high and space is limited i.e. loads of 1100ltr bins wouldn’t work. Many clients who do have compactors don’t optimise collection frequency and this can increase these costs by 10-15%.

So how can we help? Sustainable Advantage is a national waste management company with over 100 hotels as clients. We will ensure you reduce your waste costs as far as possible whilst at the same time ensuring the smooth day to day running of your waste via our waste call centre who handle all queries. We will report monthly on waste volumes as well as take care of all compliance reporting. All relevant documentation is stored on our online portal.

CASE STUDY: Reducing waste costs by over 10% through effective waste segregation and recycling – Kew Green hotels

SA has been working with Kew Green hotels for over 4 years, to help manage the group’s 52 hotels.

One of the first areas we considered was food waste. When we were appointed only 10% of the estate had food waste. Food waste is 40% cheaper than general waste to dispose of. Food waste when segregated correctly is taken to anaerobic digestion (AD) plants where they produce energy that is fed back into the grid. Residual food waste is sent to farms as fertiliser. Sites that do not have segregated food on average will reduce their waste costs by 5-8% by introducing food waste segregation.

In addition to food waste,  we also looked at the numbers of bins for each waste type – general, dry mixed recycling and glass. A well-managed hotel will have less than 40% of its waste leaving the site as general waste. Our role was to ensure internal processes and the internal bin set up maximised recycling. External bin numbers and collection frequencies then flowed from there.

Our teams spend significant amounts of time on client’s sites to get to know each individual site in order to make sensible changes. We will often do site visits on the day of collection to assess individual bin levels. We also seek to vary bin collection frequencies depending on certain times of the year where the hotels have different occupancy levels.

The Kew Green Account Management team would rely on monthly reports that highlight the volume of waste taken away by a waste stream for each site. They would compare this to the agreed targets and also assess each site’s performance on the overall league table.

The result of the above has been an average saving of over 10% for each hotel.