hotel recycling eco resort green lodging resources

If you’ve been in lodging management for a while, then you know recycling & waste management on your grounds can be a difficult, yet rewarding, task. It’s something that requires daily attention – and support from credible resources – to drive awareness and form habits with your staff & guests.

Standardize your program, add more recycling stations, reduce contamination—these are all the typical phrases you’ll hear in the recycling community about how to improve diversion rates and reduce costs at your resort. These are all successful practices; however, there’s many moving parts to each that makes tackling them successfully a little more difficult—but that’s why they brought you on board!

The team at Busch Systems has put together the following list of our 12 best resources to help you learn how to run a spectacular recycling & waste management program. Even better, they’re all free!

Don’t forget to bookmark this page, so you can refer back to it when you’ve got some more time to brush up on your recycling & waste management skills for your resort.


  1. Recycling for the Hospitality Industry [eBook]

    A Guide for Instituting Recycling Programs in Hotel and Motel Properties. This one’s an oldie, but a goodie brought to you by Clemson University. This resource has tips, walkthroughs, worksheets—basically all of the necessities to getting your resort recycling program started.

  2. Waste Reduction & Recycling Tips for Hotels, Resorts & Motels [Blog]

    Just as the title states, Wastecare Corporation has provided us with a quick list of benefits and tips to starting a recycling program for your hotel, resort or motel.

  3. Effective communication techniques to influence sustainable behavior [Study]

    Many hotels and resorts place little cards on the bathroom counter encouraging guests to reuse the same towel during a multi-night stay. It turns out that the way you frame the message on that card has a big influence on whether guests will actually follow through on reusing their towel. According to this 2008 academic study, using “social normative” language (i.e. letting them know that most guests participate), resulted in a significantly higher percentage forgoing fresh towels every day. Recycling and sustainability behavior 101: people naturally want to be do what it is perceived to be “normal”. How else could this insight be used to encourage sustainable behavior with guests?

  4. Estimating solid waste generation by hospitality industry during major festivals [Study]

    Ever wondered about the impact of hosting large festivals at your hotel/resort?
    Major festivals annually generate large quantities of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), which can negatively impact the environment and human health if poorly managed. The hospitality sector, specifically hotels, is one of the major sources of MSW generated during these festivals. Because it is essential to establish a proper waste management system for such festivals, accurate information regarding MSW generation is required. This study therefore investigated the rate of production of MSW from hotels in Kerbala during major festivals.

  5. State-level Green Lodging Programs

    Not sure where to get started on the path to a sustainable hotel or resort?  A number of US states have green lodging programs housed within their environmental protection or economic development agencies. These programs are designed to assist local properties with implementing recycling, water conservation and other green practices. In addition to offering practical how-to resources, they typically offer certification programs and publicize listings of properties with strong sustainability efforts. Connecticut, Virginia, Maine, North Carolina, Michigan and California are just a few states with such programs. Florida’s program has a particular good website with a number of useful guides and best management practices.

  6. MGM Resorts Recycling & Waste Management Page [Webpage]

    There’s not much actionable content here, but there’s some interesting statistics and a small case study about MGM Resorts’ sustainable activities in regards to waste management. Can you picture your hotel resort broadcasting a page like this? We can!

  7. Best Environmental Management Practice in THE TOURISM SECTOR: Waste sorting and sending for recycling [eBook]

    Another excellent eBook, this one produced by the European Commission. This eBook is an extract from the report Best Environmental Management Practice in the Tourism Sector. It provides a nice walkthrough of the best practices in regards to recycling & waste management at hotels while providing interesting statistics along the way.

  8. Recycling: The best kept secret on the strip [Article]

    This quick news article from the Las Vegas Sun covers the “hidden” positive impact of recycling on the Las Vegas strip paired with an interview of Brad Tomm, Sustainability Manager for MGM Resorts. Mr. Tomm is painted as quite the hero in this article—where’s your cape?! Let’s do this.

  9. Recycling: A case study approach to sensitize the hoteliers [Study]

    This study from Clarion University investigates the role of recycling in successfully managing the hotel businesses. The case studies of different hotels highlighted in this paper confirms recycling as a successful green strategy for their business, which additionally benefits the environment.


    This is a student thesis submitted to the Committee on Graduate Studies at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. Reading through this will be an arduous journey, but there’s plenty of meat and potatoes here to learn and gain inspiration from!

  11. C40 Good Practice Guides: Oslo – Waste Management Strategy [Study]

    Oslo, Norway has been producing some pretty amazing numbers over the years in regards to waste diversion. The city of Oslo has set an overall target to reduce its CO2 emissions by 50% by 2030 and to become carbon neutral by 2050 compared to 1990. One of the measures needed to achieve this ambitious target is an integrated waste management system, which Oslo launched in 2006 with its Waste Management Strategy (WMS), aiming to establish a “recycle and reuse” society. While this doesn’t cover specifically Hotel/Resort waste management, it discusses how the city as a whole (tourism industry included) has embraced recycling.

  12. Best Waste Management Practices for Small and Remote Arctic Communities [Study]

    Is your resort/hotel located in a rural or remote community? This one’s for you! The Sustainable Development Working Group in partnership with the Arctic Council put this eBook together to walkthrough best practices for remote operations. Even better, they added real-world case studies and contact information!


And there you have it! Plenty of resources to get your journey to sustainable waste management started. And again, if you think we’ve missed some more resources, feel free to comment below.