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International Journal of Hospitality Management 43 (2014) 13–22

Journal of Hospitality Management 43 (2014) 13–22 Contents lists available at ScienceDirect International

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

International Journal of Hospitality Management

journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/ijhosman

journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/ijhosman Green strategies for hotels: Estimation of recycling

Green strategies for hotels: Estimation of recycling benefits

Nripendra Singh a,1 , David Cranage b , Seoki Lee b,

a Jaypee Business School, A Constituent of JIIT University, A-10, Sector-62, Noida 201307, India b School of Hospitality Management, The Pennsylvania State University, United States

Management, The Pennsylvania State University, United States a r t i c l e i n

a r

t i

c l e

i n f o

Keywords:

Recycling

Hotel waste

Salvage value

GHG emission

Environment benefits

a b s t r a c t

Today is the Green Economy era and green strategies, like recycling can provide a great benefit to hotel industry. However, there is a lack of research to support these financial benefits. Therefore, this study investigates the role of recycling to enhance hotel businesses by contributing to its bottom line. The study uses a waste-audit technique on five hotel properties and conducts cost–benefit analysis based on the waste-audit results. Furthermore, the study estimates potential environmental impacts from recycling in terms of greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction. Findings suggest that hotels should practice recycling more rigorously not only to help the environment, but also to realize some potential monetary benefits. Addi- tionally, participation of the hotel guests in this process is also recommended to make it more affordable and lucrative for the industry.

© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction

Most human activities create waste, and the way this waste is handled, stored, collected and disposed of can pose risks to the envi- ronment and to public health (Zhu et al., 2008). With the increase of business activities as well as rapid urbanization, the genera- tion of waste has also increased. Improper management of this waste has led to various hazards not only for human beings but also for the whole ecosystem. Recycling has been at the forefront of successfully managing the problem related to waste. It is one of the processes that is used in Integrated Solid Waste Management (ISWM) along with reduce and reuse (Memon, 2010). Much of the progress in the concept of recycling happened in the 1990s and this is called the decade of recycling in America. The remarkable increase in the recycling rate rose from 9% in 1989 to 28% in 1996 indicating robust popular support and suggests that this form of civic environmentalism has entered the mainstream of behavioral norms in America (Goldstein, 1997). Total municipal solid waste (MSW) generation in 2010 was 250 million tons in the United States. Organic materials continue to be the largest component of MSW. Paper and paperboard account for 29% and yard trimmings and food scraps account for another 27%. While plastics comprise 12%; metals make up 9%; and rub- ber, leather, and textiles account for 8%. Whereas wood follows at

Corresponding author. E-mail addresses: nripendra.singh@jiit.ac.in (N. Singh), dac2@psu.edu (D. Cranage), leeseoki@psu.edu (S. Lee).

1 Tel.: +91 120 2400973 975.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhm.2014.07.006

0278-4319/© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

around 6% and glass at 5%. Other miscellaneous waste makes up approximately 3% of the MSW generated in 2010 (www.epa.gov, 2013). Recycling and composting prevented 85.1 million tons of material from being disposed of in 2010, up from 15 million tons in 1980. This prevented the release of approximately 186 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent into the air in 2010 (www.epa.gov, 2013) (Fig. 1). Disposing of waste in landfills produces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions leading to environmental degradation. The unmanaged waste dumped in landfills cause anaerobic decomposition produc- ing methane, a greenhouse gas, which is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. It also leads to groundwater contamination through leachate, surface water contamination through runoff, and air con- tamination due to emission of harmful gases. Waste prevention and recycling, commonly referred to as waste reduction, helps bet- ter management of solid waste, which leads to reduced dumping in landfills and thus less emissions of GHG. The hotel industry is one of the major contributors of organic/wet waste in landfills, which is the main cause of GHG emission. Bacot et al. (2002) reveals that for commercial sector facilities, which hotels represent 23%, generate around 45% of all municipal solid waste. The solid waste generated from the hotels is disposed off primarily in landfills. Hotel waste can be broadly classified as wet and dry waste. Wet waste comprises mainly the organic waste (food waste, garden waste and cooking oil waste) and dry waste includes recyclable waste like metal (cans), plastic, paper, linen and others. The literature reveals that proper management of waste can lead to higher profitability for hotel and save environmental pollution. In one of the studies conducted in Bali, it was found that participation

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N. Singh et al. / International Journal of Hospitality Management 43 (2014) 13–22

Journal of Hospitality Management 43 (2014) 13–22 Fig. 1. Municipal solide waste (MSW) recycling rates.

Fig. 1. Municipal solide waste (MSW) recycling rates.

Source: www.epa.gov.

in a waste management program provided direct economic ben- efits to the hotels (through waste minimization), indirect benefits such as a better corporate image, and avoided costs (liability) (Tang, 2004; Vahatiitto, 2010). Studies have shown that tourists (hotel guests/clients) are willing to pay more for environmental friendly products and services such as hotel accommodation (Kang et al., 2012; Masau and Prideaux, 2003). Many hotels are practicing envi- ronmentally friendly policies and recycling to manage waste, which is benefitting them by an increase in profit and getting positive cus- tomer response and improved corporate brand image (IHRA, 1995). This line of research can be supported by the instrumental stake- holder theory, suggesting that firms implement socially responsible activities to eventually enhance their performance and value (Donaldson and Preston, 1995; Freeman, 1984). In other words, firms perceive their participation in socially responsible activi- ties, including environemtnally friendly activities, instrumental to improve their performance. According to the instrumental stake- holder theory, not only shareholders, but also other stakeholders such as employees and customers influence firms’ strategies and performances, and thus, firms should strive to satisfy all stakehold- ers in a balanced manner to maximize their value. For example, firms may improve their employees’ organizational commitment by implementing environmentally friendly practices in their busi- nesses, thus enhance retention rate which will consequently help firms to increase their performance. Several hotel studies were empirically conducted based on this theory in the context of cor- porate social responsibility which is a broach concept including environmental issues, and generally supported the theory (for example, Inoue and Lee, 2011; Kang et al., 2010; Lee and Park, 2009). It was, however, also found in some studies that small hotels and restaurants tend to place environmental concerns as the second pri- ority (first being revenue generation) in their businesses (Goodall, 1995). As hotels are one of the major sources of solid waste gen- eration, for reducing the volume of this waste, Kirk (1995) focused on purchasing policies (develop partnership, products with sensi- ble packing), waste management (minimize waste in the operation,

reuse and recycle) and waste disposal (partnership with disposal companies, sound disposal methods) by hotel to meet environmen- tal responsibility and reduce the burden of waste. Considering the significant role of the hotel industry in terms of waste generation (half a pound to 28.5 pounds of trash per day per room) and the fast growth of the industry, adopting a number of environmen- tal best practices with quantifiable measures, including areas of benchmarking and auditing, financial analysis to facilitate informed decision making, and operational training, becomes important due to certain factors such as increasing regulation and rising utility costs (Goldstein and Primlani, 2012). Thus, this study looked at five hotels in Center County, Pennsylvania to understand the waste gen- eration and its management for estimating the monetary benefits of recycling for the industry and the environment. Findings of this study support the instrumental stakeholder theory. This study has the following objectives:

To examine the current status of solid waste generation in hotels by conducting waste audits. It includes both qualitative and quan- titative aspects of the problem.

To understand waste minimization and disposal mechanisms, including collection, segregation, recycling, composting and com- bustion techniques.

To develop strategies or best practices for waste management to make it profitable, sustainable and environmental friendly.

2.

Literature review

2.1. Waste and recycling

Waste or wastes are terms for unwanted materials. Waste material can be solid, liquid, gaseous or radioactive. It includes municipal solid waste (household trash/refuse), wastewater and others. The term is often subjective because waste to one person is not necessarily waste to another. Also, when scrap metal is sent to

N. Singh et al. / International Journal of Hospitality Management 43 (2014) 13–22

15

landfills, it is inaccurate to classify them as waste, because they are recyclable. Similarly, soiled or spoiled food is a substantial part of the waste from the hotel industry, but can be healthy food for pigs in piggeries or used in a composting program. The term usually relates to materials produces by human activity, and the process is generally undertaken to reduce their effect on health, the envi- ronment or esthetics. Thus, this paper deals with current practices used for waste management in hotels, which includes collection, transportation, processing or disposal, managing and monitoring of waste materials (Bartone et al., 1990). Recycling is a resource recovery practice that refers to the collection and reuse of waste materials such as empty beverage containers. The materials from which the items are made can be reprocessed into new products. Material for recycling may be col- lected separately from general waste using dedicated bins and collection vehicles, a procedure called curb side collection. In some communities, the owner of the waste is required to separate the materials into various different bins (e.g., for paper, plastics, metals) prior to its collection. In other communities, all recyclable mate- rials are placed in a single bin for collection, and the sorting is handled later at a central facility. The latter method is known as “single-stream recycling” (OECD, 2007; Wilson et al., 2006). The most common recycled material from hotels include alu- minum such as beverage cans, copper such as wire, steel from food and aerosol cans, old steel furnishings or equipment, polyethyl- ene and PET bottles, glass bottles and jars, paperboard cartons, newspapers, magazines and light paper, and corrugated fiberboard boxes. This can be useful in generating substantial revenue in terms of savings of hauling fee and salvage value of the waste, apart from savings to environmental degradation. In addition, a major portion of the waste include recoverable materials that are organic in nature, such as plant material, food scraps, and paper products. It can be recovered through composting and digestion processes to decompose the organic matter. The resulting organic material is then recycled as mulch or compost for agricultural or landscaping purposes. Also, waste gas from the process (such as methane) can be captured and used for generating electricity and heat (Federation of Canadian Municipalities, n.d.; UNEP, 2005).

2.2. Environmental management in the hotel industry

In recognition of environmental degradation, governments, along with the green movement within the hotel and tourism industry, and travelers, have become increasingly aware of the need for more effective measures to protect the environment. In order to achieve noticeable improvement, hotel managers and operators must be willing to act in an environmentally responsible man- ner. In the survey performed among Swedish and Polish hoteliers (Bohdanowicz, 2006), it was found that their facilities influence the natural surroundings, although the magnitude of the impacts is often underestimated. The hoteliers are also aware that the hotel industry would benefit from environmental pro-activeness among operators (Bohdanowicz, 2006). Hotel and tourism associations, including hotel corporations, are believed to have an important role in promoting environmental awareness and advocating more sus- tainable practices among the operators of the hospitality industry (CSD, 1999). Thus, there is a pressing need for hotels to take care of their waste. Also, if the benefits can be estimated, it can be source of motivation for hoteliers rather than a compulsion. It has been estimated that 75% of all environmental impacts created by the hotel industry can be attributed to the excessive consumption of local and imported non-durable goods, energy and water, followed by emissions released to air, water and soil (APAT, 2002). A typical hotel guest is estimated to produce at least 1 kg of waste per day (IHEI, 2002). A large proportion (50–60%) of this waste could be recycled or reused (Smith et al., 1993). Waste is

thus a substantial cost in terms of hauling fees, which can be saved and transformed to revenue by recycling and its salvage value. According to Kasim (2009), environmental management is important in ensuring a good future for small and medium hotels, but only a small majority agrees that environmental management could reduce the operational costs. Thus to convince the hoteliers to practice waste management for environment, there is a need to quantify its benefits. Assessing the success of waste minimization, clubs requires the use of cost benefit analysis. Cost–benefit analysis (CBA) is becoming increasingly popular for evaluating policy and investment within the UK (Pearce, 1998). In a survey conducted on eight Clubs in UK regarding revenue generated from waste management, the reported financial savings appear very impressive. Waste costs as around £500,000. Audits showed that it was in fact £12,870,000, some 4.5% of total turnover. Some £3,000,000 of savings was con- sidered to be achievable and this corresponded to around 1.1% of total turnover. One of the clubs like LWMI resulted in savings of £747,000, which were 0.26% of total turnover. The total savings of year one and two were £1,266,000, which was 0.47% of total turnover (Phillips et al., 2001). Radwan et al. (2010) framed a solid waste management (SWM) model for hotels to achieve zero waste. The model considers four main steps, which mainly focuses on hotel commitment to owning environmental responsibility toward reducing and recycling waste according to the legislation, considering suitable waste carrier, con- ducting waste audit, keeping records of audits and disposal routes to measure the effectiveness of the processes, assessing disposal costs, and adapting to the waste hierarchy like prevention, mini- mization, reuse, recycle, compost and landfill to achieve zero waste. This study, however, lacks in estimating the cost of adopting and implementing the proposed model. In another recent study (Malik and Kumar, 2012), practical remedies are suggested to ensure lower waste generation and better waste management without adding much to the cost. For example, minimizing or avoiding use of plastic bags, plastic lin- ers in garbage bins, replace use of diluted cleaning and laundry solutions by concentrated products, distribution of newspapers in rooms can be replaced by positioning them in news stands at central locations such as lobby or restaurant. Purchase of cloth material of high thread count for longer life, use of pump-style sprays in-place of aerosol cans, use of refillable dispensers for soap, shampoo and other toiletries in guest rooms to eradicate waste soap pieces, wrappers and plastic bottles. Use of damaged bath, hand, face towels as cleaning cloth and paper products and furni- ture made from recycled material. Sridang et al. (2005) also found that the average waste ranges between 0.05 and 17.35 kg/room/day or 3.51 kg/room/day in the two cities of Hat Yai and Phuket in Southern Thailand, which is further segregated into food waste, glass and cardboard. Though food waste is generated from other sources as well like the main kitchen, prepared food, guest room and staff cantina, which is 75.9% of the total waste. But the study did not estimate costs and benefits from managing this waste.

3. Methodology

A waste-audit was conducted at five hotels in University Park, Center County, Pennsylvania, to find out the contents of the trash in their dumpsters and their recycling status. The five hotels were selected based on their consent/approval to participate in the waste-audit in the study area. This paper refers the five hotels as Hotels A–E for anonymity. Three of the five (Hotels A–C) operate with food and beverage (F&B) services while the other two (Hotels

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N. Singh et al. / International Journal of Hospitality Management 43 (2014) 13–22

Table 1 Hotels with F&B services.

Hotel names

Hotel A

Hotel B

Hotel C

Price

Hotel A

Hotel B

Hotel C

AVE

%

Waste

AVE

%

Waste

AVE

%

Waste

Salvage income

Plastic bottle

61

10%

21.96

57.5

10%

20.70

61.33

9%

22.08

$350

$7686

$7245

$7728

Other plastic

16.33

3%

5.88

10.67

2%

3.84

4.00

1%

1.44

200

1176

768

288

Terracycle

15.00

3%

5.40

22.50

4%

8.10

20.00

3%

7.20

10

54

81

72

Aluminium

48.33

8%

17.40

16.83

3%

6.06

21.33

3%

7.68

1300

22,620

7878

9984

Glass

27.00

5%

9.72

39.67

7%

14.28

40.00

6%

14.40

5

49

71

72

Newspaper

31.67

5%

11.40

30.67

5%

11.04

68.67

10%

24.72

35

399

386

865

Mixed office

55.00

9%

19.80

32.00

6%

11.52

20.67

3%

7.44

40

792

460

298

Cardboard

0.00

0%

0

7.00

1%

2.52

24.67

4%

8.88

100

0

252

888

Compost

259.33

44%

93.36

286.67

50%

103.20

306.67

46%

110.40

Income

$32,776

$17,141

$20,195

Trash

75.67

13%

27.24

65.33

11%

23.52

104.67

16%

37.68

Total

589.33

100%

212.16

568.83

100%

204.78

672.00

100%

241.92

Notes: AVE represents average pounds per day; waste represents total waste in tons per year; price represents price per tons.

D and E) operate without it. The waste-audit was performed for

four hotels (Hotels A–D) on November 14 (Thursday), 16 (Satur- day), and 19 (Tuesday) while for Hotel E on September 2 (Monday) and 18 (Wednesday), and November 19 (Tuesday). According to the chamber of commerce of Pennsylvania, there are approximately 100 hotels within Centre County, and the sam- pled five hotels include both hotels with and without F&B services

which should reasonably represent the hotel population in the county. However, generalizability of these five hotels to other areas

or regions of U.S. is limited. A waste audit was conducted randomly,

without any prior notification of the visit to ensure unbiased audits

and avoid any deliberate action by the hotels to manipulate their recycling status. At each site, auditors randomly selected trash bags from each dumpster, approximately 10–15% of the total trash by weight. The data was collected using a ‘Hotel Waste-audit Sheet’ (see Appendix 1). One of the days was intentionally selected to fall immediately

after a football game, to see if there is any significant difference

in the quantity of waste at a hotel’s maximum occupancy. It was

found that there is no major difference. Whatever difference was visible may have been be due to the next day, Sunday, when the trash is not hauled. It was however, more prominent in hotels with F&B services.

The three state authorities concerned with waste management, Center County Recycling and Refuse Authority (CCRRA), State Col- lege Borough, and Council of Government (COG) agreed to be a part of this waste audit, which made it more reliable and appro- priate with their wide experience in this field for many years. They provided resources for the waste audit including human resource, bins, weighing machines, gloves, glasses, uniform (Tyvek-suits), transportation facility, and infrastructure (space and set-up) for segregating comingled waste. The results were used to extrapolate on the 100 hotels within Center County for analysis. The rates used

4. Results

4.1. Waste audits

Table 1 shows waste information of three sampled hotels with F&B services (Hotels A–C). The data collected from Hotels A–C shows that out of total trash thrown in the dumpster for which the hotels would be charged a hauling fee of $70 per ton, only 13%, 11%, and 16%, respectively are “true” trash, which should go to the landfill, the rest, 87%, 89%, and 84%, respectively, were recyclable. As hauling charges are measured by weight and not by time, average waste per day is multiplied by 360 for a year (assuming that average working days in a hotel are 360 days) and converted into tons. Thus, 212.16, 204.78, and 241.92 tons of waste would be generated from these three hotels in a year for which $14,851 (212.16 tons × $70), $14,335 (= 204.78 tons × $70), and $16,934 (= 241.92 tons × $70), respectively, come as hauling charges. But as the true trash is only 13%, 11%, and 16%, Hotels A–C need to pay only $1931, $1577, and $2709 where three hotels can save $12,920, $12,758, and $14,225, respectively, per year. The remaining waste (i.e., 87%, 87%, and 84%)

is recyclable, which could be segregated and sold as salvage value.

As per the approved rates of different waste material from the Cen- tre County Authority, this hotel could earn additional revenue of

$32,776, $17,141, and $20,195, respectively, per year by selling the recyclable material coming out of its waste stream (Table 1). Similarly, data from the other two hotels (Hotels D and E), which does not provide F&B services, shows that out of total trash only 12% trash is the ‘true trash’ and 88% of the trash is recyclable for the both hotels (Table 2). Thus, out of the average amount paid as hauling charges, which comes to $7914.20 per year for Hotel D and $6711.60 for Hotel E, only 12% needs to be paid and, the rest of $6964.49 for Hotel D and $5906.21 for Hotel E can be saved along with the saving of environmental pollution. In addition, the recyclable material has

to

calculate salvage value of recyclable material is taken from the

a

salvage value of $18,984.60 for Hotel D and $29,806.80 for Hotel

Center County Authority, Bellefonte, PA. Estimation of greenhouse

E

per year, as per the approved rate.

gases (GHG) emission is calculated using the data generated from these audits. The technique used for calculation is the Waste Reduc- tion Model (WARM) developed by the Environmental Protection

An aggregate of the entire country would give a better picture of the benefits of managing the waste in the hotel industry. But due to the large variation in the size of operations of the hotels, it may

Agency (EPA). 2

2 According to EPA, WARM calculates and totals GHG emissions of baseline and alternative waste management practices—source reduction, recycling, combus- tion, composting, and landfilling. The model calculates emissions in metric tons of carbon equivalent (MTCE), metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E), and energy units (million BTU) across a wide range of material types commonly found in municipal solid waste (MSW).” Relevant Information is available at:

http://epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/tools/warm/index.html.

not be valid to extrapolate this data at a country level. Therefore, it

is being done at the county level, which has hotels of fairly similar

size of operations. To find the industry aggregate in the county and

the estimation of savings from hauling the true trash, the average for hotels with and without F&B services is calculated separately from the waste-audit in Tables 3a, 3b and 4a, 4b, respectively. The data collected from the three hotels with F&B services is used for calculating the average for Center County, and then mul- tiplied by 50, which is the total number of such hotels in Center County (refer Table 3a). The results show that 219.62 tons is the

N. Singh et al. / International Journal of Hospitality Management 43 (2014) 13–22

Table 2 Hotels without F&B services.

17

Hotel names

Hotel D

Hotel E

Price

Hotel D

Hotel E

AVE

%

Waste

AVE

%

Waste

Salvage income

Plastic bottle

52

17%

18.72

47

18%

16.92

$350

$6552

$5922

Other plastic

17.00

5%

6.12

18.67

7%

6.72

200

1224

1344

Terracycle

18.33

6%

6.60

12.00

5%

4.32

10

66

43

Aluminium

21.67

7%

7.80

45.67

17%

16.44

1300

10,140

21,372

Glass

46.80

15%

16.85

36.33

14%

13.08

5

84

65

Newspaper

9.00

3%

3.24

11.00

4%

3.96

35

113

139

Mixed office

20.07

6%

7.22

9.00

3%

3.24

40

289

130

Cardboard

14.33

5%

5.16

22.00

8%

7.92

100

516

792

Compost

78.40

25%

28.22

32.33

12%

11.64

Income

$18,984

$29,807

Trash

36.47

12%

13.13

32.33

12%

11.64

Total

314.07

100%

113.06

266.33

100%

95.88

Notes: AVE represents average pounds per day; Waste represents total waste in tons per year; Price represents price per tons.

Table 3a Average of hotels with F&B services.

Material

Hotel A

Hotel B

Hotel C

Avg/day

Avg/year (lbs)

Avg/year (tons)

Percent

Price per ton

Income from salvage

Plastic bottle

61.00

57.50

61.33

59.94

21,580.00

21.58

10%

$350

$7553.00

Other plastic

16.33

10.67

4.00

10.33

3720.00

3.72

2%

200

744.00

Terracycle

15.00

22.50

20.00

19.17

6900.00

6.90

3%

10

69.00

Aluminium

48.33

16.83

21.33

28.83

10,380.00

10.38

5%

1300

13,494.00

Glass

27.00

39.67

40.00

35.56

12,800.00

12.80

6%

5

64.00

Newspaper

31.67

30.67

68.67

43.67

15,720.00

15.72

7%

35

550.20

Mixed office

55.00

32.00

20.67

35.89

12,920.00

12.92

6%

40

516.80

Cardboard

0.00

7.00

24.67

10.56

3800.00

3.80

2%

100

380.00

Compost

259.33

286.67

306.67

284.22

102,320.00

102.32

47%

Total income

$23,371.00

Trash

75.67

65.33

104.67

81.89

29,480.00

29.48

13%

Total

589.33

568.83

672.00

610.06

219,620.00

219.62

100%

Table 3b Estimation of savings from hauling true trash.

 

Weight per hotel (in tons)

Cost per hotel (in $)

Weight for total hotels in county-50 (in tons)

Cost for total hotels in county-50 (in $)

Current cost of hauling by hotels @ $70 per ton Cost of hauling true trash @ 13% Savings from NOT hauling recyclables @ 87% Income from salvage @ 40%

219.62

15,373.40

10,981

$768,670

29.48

1998.54

1474

99,927.10

190.14

13,374.86

9507

668,742.90

87.84

23,371.00

4392

1,168,550

Table 4a Average of hotels without F&B services.

 

Material

Hotel D

Hotel E

Avg/day

Avg/year (lbs)

Avg/year (tons)

Percent

Price per ton

Income from salvage

Plastic bottle

52.00

47.00

49.50

17,820.00

17.82

17%

$350

$6237.00

Other plastic

17.00

18.67

17.83

6420.00

6.42

6%

200

1284.00

Terracycle

18.33

12.00

15.17

5460.00

5.46

5%

10

54.60

Aluminium

21.67

45.67

33.67

12,120.00

12.12

12%

1300

15,756.00

Glass

46.80

36.33

41.57

14,964.00

14.96

14%

5

74.82

Newspaper

9.00

11.00

10.00

3600.00

3.60

3%

35

126.00

Mixed office

20.07

9.00

14.53

5232.00

5.23

5%

40

209.28

Cardboard

14.33

22.00

18.17

6540.00

6.54

6%

100

654.00

Compost

78.40

32.33

55.37

19,932.00

19.93

19%

TOTAL INCOME

$24,395.70

Trash

36.47

32.33

34.40

12,384.00

12.38

12%

Total

314.07

266.33

290.20

104,472.00

104.47

100%

average waste per hotel, and 10,981 tons is the total waste from 50 hotels in one year. Out of the total waste, the true trash is approxi- mately 13%, which is 29.48 tons per hotel, and recyclable material is 87%, which is 190.14 tons per hotel per year on an average.

Table 4b Estimation of savings from hauling true trash.

Cost estimation for the same is shown in Table 3b, which shows a net saving of $13,374.86 for each hotel, and $ 668,742.90 for all 50 hotels in Center County with food and beverage. It also shows the savings of 190.14 tons of trash from dumping in the landfill

 

Weight per hotel (in tons)

Cost per hotel (in $)

Weight for total hotels in county-50 (in tons)

Cost for total hotels in county-50 (in $)

Current cost of hauling by hotels @ $70 per ton Cost of hauling true trash @ 12% Savings from NOT hauling recyclables @ 88% Income from salvage @ 69%

104.47

7312.90

5223.50

365,645

12.53

877.50

627

43,875

91.93

6435.30

4596.50

321,765

72.08

24,395.70

3604

1,219,785

18

Table 5

Cost–benefit analysis.

N. Singh et al. / International Journal of Hospitality Management 43 (2014) 13–22

Category

Hotels with F&B

Hotels without F&B

Extra labor (persons per day) Extra labor ($ charged per hour) Extra labor (hours per day) Extra labor ($ per year) Refuse fee Extra bins (100 and 300) at 100 each Income from Salvage value Current expenses 1st year 2nd year 3rd year (50% reduced labor cost – experiential learning) 4th year (50% reduced labor cost – experiential learning) 5th year (no additional cost of labor) Savings from compost Non-monetary benets (premium)

6 persons

2 persons

$10

$10

2

2

43,200

14,400

1998.54

877.5

30,000

10,000

23,371

24,395.7

15,373.4

7312.9

51,827.54

881.8

21,827.54

9118.2

227.54

16,318.2

227.54

16,318.2

21,372.46

23,518.2

20% of food waste (also sold) Reduced GHG in the environment Positive customer view Satisfied staff

20% of food waste (also sold) Reduced GHG in the environment Positive customer view Satisfied staff

causing environmental pollution from an average hotel each year. In addition, the 87% recyclable material has a salvage value of $23,371 for each hotel as per the rates of Center County Authority, PA (Table 3b). Similarly, the data collected from the two hotels without F&B services has been used for calculating the average value for one

hotel and for all hotels in Center County, PA (Table 4a). The results show that the total waste generated is 104.47 tons from an average hotel without F&B services in one year, out of which the true trash

is 12% and recyclable materials 88%. Estimating the cost and savings

from hauling, a net saving of $6435.30 is estimated from each hotel

and $321,765 from all the hotels without F&B in Center County. In addition, there can be savings of environmental pollution by not dumping 4596.5 tons in the landfill, plus 88% recyclable material can earn a salvage value of $1,219,785 (Table 4b).

4.2. Cost–benefit analysis

The cost–benefit analysis is typically conducted by various orga- nizations including private sector businesses to determine whether

a given project provides greater benefits than costs or not. Jules

Dupuit, a French engineer developed this economic accounting in 1848 and later, Alfred Marshall formalized basic concepts of the analysis. The data for the current study was gathered from waste-audits and was used for analysing the cost versus benefits of implementing the waste management program at hotels in Cen- tre County, Pennsylvania. The study makes the following logics and assumptions for the analysis based on the experience of the waste- audit, discussions with practitioners like hotel managers and waste

management officers, and observations at the hotel facility:

Table 6 Salvage value (revenue) from recycling in center county in 10 years.

Average cost of cleaning staff in hotels range from $7–10 per hour.

Time to sort the waste is estimated based on the time taken to do it during our waste-audit of the five hotels.

Cost of bins is estimated based on the available range from $5 (recycling waste basket-14 quart) to $25 (waste basket with hanging waste basket-28 quart) to $90 (16 gallons, Dual- compartment touchless recycle bin/trash can).

Reduction of labor cost by 50% from 3rd year due to experiential learning, habit-development, training of the cleaning staff, and no additional requirement from 5th year.

Compost selling price (for customers) varies from $5 to $20 per 40 pounds, but has not been shown in this calculation (due to non-availability of the production cost), which will surely add to hotels revenue. Also, food waste is reduced to 20% of its volume when converted to compost.

Table 5 clearly depicts how a hotel, after incurring additional expenses of $43,200.00 on labor and $30,000.00 on extra bins, can generate considerable profits of approximately $21,372.46 within a five-year period. There will be additional benefits from selling compost, savings from not having to buy fertilizer for gar- den/horticulture and landscaping, customer loyalty and a premium on being eco-friendly in the form of staff satisfaction. One of the most important additional benefits will be for the environment, which is reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emission from landfills. It is clearly evident from Tables 3a and 3b, that hotels with F&B services, which are paying $15,373.40 currently, will be required to pay $51,827.54 in the first year of implementation of solid waste management program. The additional cost of bins ($30,000.00), extra labor ($43,200.00) and hauling charges/refuse fee for the true trash ($1998.54), along with the revenue from

Waste material

Price per ton

Total waste from 50 hotels with F&B

Total value from hotels with F&B

Total waste from 50 hotels without F&B

Total value from hotels without F&B

Total (1 year)

Grand total (10 years)

Plastic bottle

350

1079

377,650

891

311,850

689,500

6,895,000

Other plastic

200

186

37,200

321

64,200

101,400

1,014,000

Terracycle

10

345

3450

273

2730

6180

61,800

Aluminium

1300

519

674,700

606

787,800

1,462,500

14,625,000

Glass

5

640

3200

748

3741

6941

69,410

Newspaper

35

786

27,510

180

6300

33,810

338,100

Mixed office

40

646

25,840

262

10,464

36,304

363,040

Cardboard

100

190

19,000

327

32,700

51,700

517,000

Total

4391

1,168,550

3608

1,219,785

2,388,335

23,883,350

N. Singh et al. / International Journal of Hospitality Management 43 (2014) 13–22

19

Table 7 Tonnage of recyclables saved from going to landfill in center county (in 10 years).

Waste material

Hotels with F&B

Hotels without F&B

Total

Plastic bottle

10,790

8910

19,700

Other plastic

1860

3210

5070

Terracycle

3450

2730

6180

Aluminium

5190

6060

11,250

Glass

6400

7482

13,882

Newspaper

7860

1800

9660

Mixed office

6460

2616

9076

Cardboard

1900

3270

5170

Compost

51,160

9966

61,126

Trash

14,740

6192

20,932

Total

109,810

52,236

162,046

salvage value ($23,371.00) will be added, and current hauling expenses ($15,373.40) will be subtracted from the total. In the sec- ond year of its operation the hotel will not be paying for bins, therefore $30,000.00 will not be added in the second year. Thus, it will need to pay be $21,827.54, which is almost equivalent to their current expenses for hauling (as observed and confirmed from the actual records-hauling fees). From its 3rd year of operation the labor cost should ideally be reduced to half (50%) due to experien- tial learning and reduced extra incentive is required to be paid to motivate the staff for some extra efforts, unlike the first two years of its implementation. Therefore, in the 3rd and the 4th year of its operations they will be required to pay only $227.5. Finally, when enough learning and training of the staff has happened and trash segregation would become part of their work, the hotel will not be required to pay for the extra labor cost. So, from the 5th year onwards hotels instead of paying for the trash, the hotel will start earning $21,372.46 every year, mainly from the salvage value of the recyclable material. Similarly, in case of hotels without F&B services, paying $7312.90 currently would pay only $881.80 in the first year of implementation of solid waste management program. These hotels will start earning immediately from the second year due to simple reason that they have more recyclable material and therefore high salvage value as compared to the hotels with F&B services. Their earnings from the salvage value of recyclables would be $23,518.20 every year from the 5th year onwards. This is despite the fact that they have invested $24,400 toward labor and bins in the first year. Table 6 shows that, by adopting recycling and solid waste management program, the hotels with and without F&B services in the Centre County would save 4,391 and 3,608 tons respec- tively, of recyclable material from being dumped to the landfill each year. This average, if extrapolated for ten years duration will show us a significant impact on the environment. Thus, a total of 162,046 tons (109,810 + 52,236) of recyclable material from the hotel industry in the Centre County of Pennsylvania will be saved from being dumped to the landfill in 10 years (Table 6). The amount of revenue which can be earned from its salvage value is almost $23,883,350.00 in this time period. But more than the money, this program will lead to environmental benefits in terms of reducing GHG emission in the atmosphere, which if not con- trolled can cause irreparable damage to our environment and to people. For calculating GHG emission reduction from this program, the weight of the recyclable and trash material shown in Table 7 is used as input in the WARM model. The model will gener- ate the metric ton carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO 2 E) which this material would have generated from the landfills. It comes out to be 198,922 MTCO 2 E in the baseline scenario. The base- line scenario shows the current amount of waste that goes into

landfill or is being recycled, combusted or composted, and cal- culates the amount of GHG emissions thus produced. This needs to be compared to the alternate scenario. The alternate scenario includes the reduced amount of waste, which will go to land- fill, as a result of waste management program. Thus, it shows the change in GHG emissions as a result of new program. In this case, it comes to 164,063 MTCO 2 E in the alternate scenario. The total change in GHG emissions as calculated by the WARM model comes to 362,985 MTCO 2 E. This shows how much reduc- tion in GHG emissions can be achieved by waste management programs. This GHG emission in metric tons of carbon dioxide equiva- lent (MTCO 2 E) from the model is then used as input in the EPA’s greenhouse gas equivalencies calculator to convert it into differ- ent equivalencies like passenger car, gasoline, electricity etc. to make it possible for the lay person to understand the consequences of GHG emission and its reduction (greenhouse gas equivalencies calculator). The result generated by EPA’s greenhouse gas equivalencies cal- culator for the GHG savings from all the hotels in Center County in ten years, is shown below:

Emits 362,985 MTCO 2 E in ten years equivalent to:

Annual greenhouse gas emissions from 75,622 passenger vehi- cles.

CO 2 emissions from 40,693,386 gallons of gasoline consumed.

CO 2 emissions from the electricity use of 54,339 homes for one year.

CO 2 emissions from the energy use of 18,682 homes for one year.

Carbon sequestered by 9,307,308 tree seedlings grown for 10 years.

Carbon sequestered annually by 297,529 acres of pine or fir forests.

Carbon sequestered annually by 2803 acres of forest preserved from deforestation.

CO 2 emissions from 15,124,375 propane cylinders used for home barbeques.

Alternately, if we look at the GHG savings from an average hotel in Center County in one year, listed below:

Emits 459 MTCO 2 E in a year equivalent to:

Annual greenhouse gas emissions from 90 passenger vehicles.

CO 2 emissions from 51,457 gallons of gasoline consumed.

CO 2 emissions from the electricity use of 57.2 homes for one year.

Carbon sequestered by 11,769 tree seedlings grown for 10 years.

Carbon sequestered annually by 97.9 acres of pine or fir forests.

Carbon sequestered annually by 4.5 acres of forest preserved from deforestation.

CO 2 emissions from 19,125 propane cylinders used for home bar- beques.

5. Discussion

During the waste-audit process, it was observed that there was considerable potential for savings and income in segregating bot- tles, cans, newspapers and cardboard. Similar finds have come from other studies like – The River Lee Hotel, where Cork was awarded the winner of best repak recycling award – 2012 (Repak Best Practices – Hospitality; Waste Management for the Hospitality Industry). A considerable problem is not with the majority of the recyclables, which are well known, easy to distinguish and segre- gate, but, the major concern is that there are several items, which are recyclable but small and light in weight, yet they are in abun- dance in the waste stream. Materials like plastic forks and spoons,

20

N. Singh et al. / International Journal of Hospitality Management 43 (2014) 13–22

straws and lids, milk cartons, chocolate and candy wrappers, juice car- tons, small plastic bags, gift wrappers, clothes especially socks, soaps, etc. are found in bulk which is yet to be segregated from the waste streams. These materials are a main cause of concern to the waste industry, as they get mixed with other waste especially wet waste and forcing it to convert the majority of it to trash, which can only go to landfills. If these waste items can be sorted out and made good through recycling techniques, it will help the industry and the environment in a big way. Organic waste or the food waste from hotels can be very useful when mixed with the green waste or horticulture waste to produce good quality compost and soil conditioner. This organic or natural compost is very useful for the long-term sustainability of the soil and produces healthy fruits and vegetables on a continuous basis. Most of the time this waste goes to the landfill because it gets mixed with non-compostable waste material like plastic and aluminum foil etc. It is also observed that hotels do not segregate them at the source. A common reason may exist from lack of commitment due to being unaware about the benefits to the business and envi- ronment, and a proper facility to process it. A probable solution is to create a regional infrastructure, which can handle this type of waste. It was observed that tons of dry leaves during the fall sea- son can be turned to rich organic compost, if a mechanism can be created to bring the abundant food waste (wet waste) from the hotels and restaurants and processed properly. This is being done successfully at the Penn State University using food waste from the dormitories and kitchens and mixed with the horticulture waste from gardens and farms. Lack of stringent laws and enforcement is another reason for an insufficient practice of recycling, especially in the commercial sector like hotels and restaurants. It was observed that in hotels and restaurants with small operations it is more common not to practice recycling. This is true as they do not see the benefit of doing it. Therefore, creating stringent laws and enforcing them is a must to increase recycling to the grass-root level. But doing it will become more useful, if the segregation is done for the small and tiny waste material, especially from the wet waste/organic waste/food waste. For this to be implemented, reporting the benefits to these businesses is extremely important, along with providing support of proper infrastructure. It is estimated from this study that an average hotel can earn around $23,371.00–24,395.70 per year and can reduce GHG emis- sions equivalent to 90 passenger vehicles annually by proper recycling of their waste. These findings should encourage hotels to consider implementing recycling at their facilities. Another rea- son why these hotels have not actively engaged in recycling is that they feel that customers may not cooperate in segregating the waste at the source (guest rooms). They do not feel comfort- able asking guests to participate in recycling. They presume that since guests pay hotels for their stay, if they are asked to segre- gate their waste into separate bins in the room, guests might feel offended. These perceptions may be without base because, accord- ing to hotel managers of the studied five hotels, many guests tend to be sensitive toward the issue of recycling and do not hesitate in helping. It has been also found that hotel guests feel good by associating themselves with some noble cause like climate change and waste management (Masau and Prideaux, 2003). According to

a new survey, most people are aware and concerned about dam-

age to the environment and want to do something about it. They strongly believe that mankind is abusing the planet and that inter- ference with nature may produce disastrous consequences. There

is widespread optimism that it is not too late to do something about

climate change and that it is possible to overcome the world’s envi- ronmental problems (Paul, 2007). Thus, it is highly recommended

that hotels should use small size bins in the guest rooms and sim- ilar big size bins at common areas in the hotel for giving them an

opportunity to help in recycling. The Nittany Lion Inn at Penn State main campus practices segregation at the source in the guest rooms. They provide bins and plastic bags, along with a play- card/leaflet/note for the guests, which helps them to understand what to segregate in the plastic bags. This program is very success- ful and guests have a high appreciation for it. The rate of cooperation from the guests is very high. This practice not only helps make the guest feel part of a sustainability movement, and feel they are part- nering with the hotel in this effort, but can also help drastically reduce the cost to the hotel of separating the recyclable items from the trash. Further research may be encouraged to develop better designs for recycling bins for guest rooms. Liquid soaps, shampoos and gels in ‘dispensers’ may be used in place of soap bars and plastic bottled shampoos and gels. Another issue is whether or not there is any difference between hotels with and without F&B services in terms of recycling. One dif- ference found in this study between hotels with and without F&B services is that hotels without F&B services have an advantage of generating more revenue from the recyclable material, as they do not have much compostable or organic waste. But, hotels with F&B services can save on buying fertilizers from the compost they can produce from the compostable material in their waste. Also, they can sell extra compost to others, Another important question that may arise, is recycling economically viable looking at the high realty cost, especially when it comes to storing the waste inventory? Many times big hotels need to keep the wet/organic/compostable/food waste in air conditioned chambers or under refrigeration so that it does not produce bad odors in the hotel, which further adds to the cost of storing the waste inventory, especially during the summer season. This study has not captured the data on these parameters. There is another solution to it to reduce the space requirement for keeping the inventory, which is simpler to process as well. Stor- ing different types of recyclable material together – comingled or single stream recycling – reduces the space and bins requirement substantially. But this brings a lower rate by the salvagers, as they need to segregate it later. There is a big role which the packaging industry can play in not only reducing the waste, but in recycling too. Designing of reusable packaging material and an arrangement of taking the packaging material back from the customers can be very useful in overall reduction of waste. It has been observed that hotels have started bargaining with the suppliers to supply materials in less packaging to keep the cost as well as the waste low. This can also be achieved by acquiring supplies from local vendors rather than being shipped from long distances (Kirk, 1995). Availability of salvagers for buying recyclable material is some- what limited in United States as compared to other countries like India, as most of it is controlled by the authorities. Third party service providers may be considered as an alternative to the exist- ing system, so that more and more business and individuals can have easy access to salvagers, which can help in motivating them to segregate and recycle and earn from the waste. Salvagers may need to be trained to be more organized and to have wider networks in order to keep the cost of operations to a minimum, and pur- chase recyclables from businesses, academic institutions, as well as individual households. In addition to what government agencies and businesses can do, there is a lot which can be done by the teachers/academics in modifying the behavior of our youth. Many schools and institutions are adopting green initiatives, but it should be made compulsory all the schools, as it leads to addiction/behavioral change. They can also be a role model in segregating waste to bring in the behavioral change in the society. Sustainability and environmental management courses may be incorporated into curriculum throughout different levels of school systems including higher education. Economics and marketing principles dependent on

N. Singh et al. / International Journal of Hospitality Management 43 (2014) 13–22

21

theories of consumption may be carefully taught with consid- eration of environmental issues. This may slowly but surely bring in the desirable change in the society toward waste management. Last, this study makes its contributions to the existing literature by providing findings that support the instrumental stakeholder theory. The environmental management strategy or green strategy encompasses waste management and recycling, and according to Donaldson and Preston (1995) and Freeman (1984), such strategy as a part of a broader concept of corporate social responsibil- ity (CSR) acts for firms as an instrument that eventually leads to enhanced firm performance. Findings of the current study are also consistent with the enlightened stakeholder theory proposed by Jensen (2001); a firm cannot ignore its diverse stakeholders’ var- ious interests if the firm wants to maximize its performance in a long-run.

Appendix 1. Hotel waste-audit sheet

Hotel waste-audit sheet

 

Hotel name

Audit date

Avg

Percent

Audit day

Plastic bottle

Other plastic

Terracycle

Aluminium

Glass

Newspaper

Mixed office

Cardboard

Compost

Trash

Total

6. Conclusion

Based on the findings of the current study, although the hotel industry does a certain level of recycling, there is potential for considerable improvement. Findings show that 87% and 88% of total waste are either recyclable or compostable for the sampled hotels with and without F&B services, respectively. Hotels may not perceive the potential savings from recycling as substantial consid- ering the necessary efforts to do it. However, this study argues that such perception may not be correct based on the cost–benefit analysis suggesting that hotels cannot only make environmen- tally friendly contributions, but also make profits out of a proper recycling practice in a long-term. It has been also shown that recycling saves GHG emission to a large extent. Hotels need to be made aware of such potential monetary and non-monetary bene- fits and should be encouraged to develop an appropriate recycling system. Particular attention may need to be given to the areas of recycling small and light materials (like plastic forks and spoons, and straws) mixed with wet waste, and organic and food waste. Hotels may further improve their waste management system by having a stringent policy for recycling in place and enforcing it. Finally, waste management and recycling is a concern for all. There- fore, society as a whole should be sensitized to do their part for the good of the environment.

7. Future research and limitations

More research is needed to close the gap about the benefits of

recycling and developing better understanding of this subject. It

is proposed that further research is needed to bring more clarity

and strengthen the idea of recycling. For example, a more com- prehensive Environment cost–benefit analysis (ECBA) is required to quantify the amount of profits for the hotels and the amount of savings for the environment. Questions like, how much difference can green promotion bring to a hotel, in terms of charging a pre- mium from their customers, and, is there any significant difference between those who advertise about green issue and those who do not, needs to be further studied. The data is based on the waste-audit conducted on hotels in State College of Pennsylvania; U.S. Hotels in other areas may have

a different practice for recycling which limits generalizability of this study’s findings. Second, the estimation of labor cost may vary from vendor to vendor, and from area to area. The price of salvage may also change depending on the market demand. Last, it is also important to mention here that situations like labor shortage and

other market conditions have not been considered in estimating the sorting time.

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