Solid Waste Management For Small Hotels

3053 words - 13 pages




Tourism is “one of the world’s fastest-growing industries”; as of 2012, “global tourism accounts for 1.2 trillion dollars (USD) in exports annually, 9% of worldwide GDP and is responsible for one out of every 12 jobs” [ (Canadian Tourism Commission, 2013) ]. Ninety percent of hotels worldwide are small hotels, e.g. hotels with less than 50 rooms (Radwan et al., 2010, p. 179). This essay addresses the problems associated with solid waste produced by the hotel industry including the difficulties faced by small hotels in managing their solid waste and ultimately describes benefits and solutions for ...view middle of the document...

2). In South Africa “more than half the waste sent to landfill” could “be used as a growing media for plants”(Full Cycle, 2009). “In developing countries, municipal solid waste contains on average around 50 % organic matter and 30 % recyclable materials, meaning that potenitlaly 80 % of the waste can be recycled”(Tang, 2004, p. 17). The problem is that when organic waste rots in a landfill “under anerobic conditions (without oxygen)” methane gas is produced which “weight for weight traps 21 times more heat than carbon dioxide” and contributes to unnatural climate change instead of providing nutrients for soil (Full Cycle, 2009).

“[I]n some regions of the Caribbean, hotels and resorts produce more solid waste than all of the local residents combined”(PA Consulting Group, 2001, p. 1). Yet a majority of “small hotel firms consider their environmental responsibilities as a secondary objective” (Radwan et al., 2010, p. 176). The current rate of “waste disposal is not sustainable and will have major negative implications for future generations” (Full Cycle, 2009). The solid waste generated and disposed of by small is their most harmful environmental impact (Radwan et al., 2012, p. 533).

Difficulties With Solid Waste Management For Small Hotels

What obstacles do small hotels encounter concerning solid waste management?
Small hotels face the same limitations, in regards to sustainability, as small businesses do when conducting business: time constraints and limited resources. “Small businesses often confront a range of obstacles to recycle their waste, including lack of space and time and issues related to lack of concern and convenience” (Radwan et al., 2012, p. 535).

The lack of space can be a major obstacle for small hotels that don’t have the land to store recyclables or compostable materials in the interim. Hoteliers also fear odors from recyclables will attract pests and put off customers.

Small hotels, by definition, have both fewer rooms and fewer employees than medium to large hotels. Small hotels staff usually have a wider variety of tasks in their job description therefore waste management may take away from an employee’s completion of other job duties. Also with fewer rooms available to generate revenue, it is necessary that each room is immediately ready and available for guests. Hoteliers do not want waste management to prevent revenue-generating activities, i.e., if managing waste extends the time it takes for housekeeping to prepare a room, and guest cannot check-in at the proper time.

Small hotelier may not be concerned about only a small amount of waste. “Small businesses often generate small quantities of waste which are unattractive to waste carriers. Most recycling companies typically require specific amounts of material to be available before collection”(Radwan et al., 2010, p. 178). Lack of “local infrastructure [may make] recycling uneconomic and/or inaccessible” for small hotels” (Radwan et al., 2012,...

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