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Facts about hotel waste

Hotel Waste Statistics

There are nearly 10,000 hotels in the UK that all generate different types and amounts of waste every day. The majority of this is organic waste (such as food), followed by paper and cardboard, plastic, and glass. Some definitions of the hospitality industry include restaurants and pubs, but here we’re mainly focusing on hotels.

Hotels around the world produce almost 290,000 tonnes of waste every year in total with nearly a third of that amount consisting of food waste. It’s a big issue as hotels need to store this rubbish out of the way of guests and dispose of it responsibly. Many green hotels aim to reduce waste in their accommodation.

Open the door to some fascinating facts about how much waste hotels generate and gain a greater insight into the issue with these hotel waste statistics.

What causes hotel waste?

There are various causes for all the different types of waste that hotels produce. Many of the same reasons behind food waste in restaurants apply to hotels. This includes preparation waste (such as peelings and mistakes), spoilage (ingredients past their use-by date or that have gone off) and plate waste (leftovers from guests).

Hotels generate lots of glass recycling via empty glass beer and wine bottles (including miniature in hotel mini-bars), condiment jars, and containers for ingredients. Plastic waste is also produced in any hotels that provide health and beauty products such as shampoo, shower gel, and toothpaste for guests in plastic bottles.

Cleaning products generate plastic waste due to empty bottles, as well as a variety of chemical waste. Every hotel bathroom (both ensuite and shared ones) must have a sanitary waste bin. Then there’s the general waste and mixed recycling guests create from throwing away snack wrappers, food scraps, brochures, and tea bags in their rooms.

Soiled and damaged bedding and towels can cause textile waste in hotels when it can’t be washed and reused. Broken electricals such as a TV, kettle, or iron from guest rooms (as well as kitchen appliances) generate all sorts of WEEE. And when it’s time for a refurbishment, hotels often get rid of lots of old furniture.

Hotel waste facts

Hotels range in size, services, and facilities, which can affect the amount and types of waste they produce. For example, large 300-room resort hotels with a spa and all-inclusive options will generate much higher volumes of waste than a country B&B. It all adds up though and the hotel and hospitality industry are responsible for some incredible amounts of waste.

A few harrowing hotel waste facts and stats are that:

  • Hotels produce around 289,700 tonnes of waste annually around the world
  • A 200-room hotel uses around 300,000 bits of single-use plastic every month
  • The average hotel room uses between 60,000 and 120,000 litres of water each year
  • On an individual basis, the average hotel guest generates around one kilogram of waste per night – some of which should be recyclable
  • In 2011 it was reported that 87% of waste generated by the hospitality industry goes to landfill
  • Hotels contribute about 1% of global carbon dioxide emissions
  • In one year hotels generate about 363 million tonnes of CO2 (enough to power 45 million homes for a year)
  • Tourism in general is estimated to produce around 35 million tonnes of waste annually
How to reduce hotel waste
bedroom in a hotel.

Hotel food waste facts

Food accounts for nearly a third of all waste that hotels worldwide produce. This includes leftovers from the breakfast bar, dropped dishes in the evening, and expired ingredients in the kitchen. Lots of food wastage in hotels is avoidable with an effective plan in place, although some level will always be inevitable.

Tuck into these facts and statistics about hotel food waste:

  • The hotel industry creates 79,000 tonnes of food waste annually
  • Food waste in hotels makes up nearly 10% of all commercial food waste
  • Detailed research has found that 046 kg is wasted per plate in some hotels, which equates to 5.8% of its weight
  • The causes of food waste in hotels vary but research splits it into three reasons:
    • 45% of hotel food waste is from food preparation
    • 34% of hotel food waste is from consumer plates
    • 21% of hotel food waste is from spoilage
  • An average hospitality business spends up to £50,000every year sending waste food to landfill
  • Hotels spend £28 billion on catering and banqueting events every year
Find more food waste facts

How should I get rid 
of hotel waste?

Hotels must arrange commercial waste collection for all rubbish they produce by licensed waste carriers. It’s important that any hotel separates waste into individual bins to store each material and reduce the risk of contamination. These bins should be kept away from guests where possible to maintain a hygienic environment.

At Business Waste we can provide free bins for your hotel with no delivery or rental fees – you only pay for collection. A wide range of two and four-wheel bins are available to separate and store waste food, glass, general waste, and dry mixed recycling. Arrange removal on a schedule that avoids disrupting your guests.

Get a free quote for your hotel waste collection today – call 0800 211 8390 or contact us online. Speak to one of our friendly and expert team for a fast solution. They can answer any of your questions and advise on the best bins and removal frequency to suit your hotel and provide a bespoke no-obligation quote.

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