As a short-term rental host or owner, there are many things you can do to reduce the carbon footprint of your business. One of these is recycling. Making sure you and your guests separate trash from recycling is important, not only because trash severely damages the environment, but also because you could be fined if you don’t recycle properly!
In this comprehensive guide, you’ll discover some tips and tricks for ensuring proper garbage collection at your vacation rental, whether it’s a condo, a bed-and-breakfast or a guest house.
Now, waste management and the transition to a circular economy is based on the so-called “5 R’s” strategy. What is it, and how can you use it to optimize waste management and recyling at your vacation rental?
The first “R” in this strategy, Refuse, is based on refusing to produce junk. In a world driven by consumerism, saying no to those extra purchases can be difficult. However, to produce less waste materials, a good practice is to ask yourself, “Do I really need to buy this product?”
With your vacation rental business in mind, what are those products that you might decide not to buy so that you don’t create waste?
A second way to limit the environmental impact of your vacation rental is to produce less waste. How to do this:
Lean towards products that can be reused multiple times rather than disposable ones:
Many products can have a second life when their main purpose is over or when they break down.
Can you repurpose waste from your rental? Here are some examples:
Waste recycling refers to the transformation, through industrial processes, of a waste material into raw material that can be used to create new products.
Clearly, as a homeowner or manager, you cannot do much to help industries recycle plastic, paper, aluminum, and glass. However, you can make sure that the trash is delivered to them separated properly.
For this reason, it is important for each individual to be well-informed about how waste sorting is regulated in the municipality of residence. Especially if you run a vacation home or B&B and often have guests.
Now, the importance of properly separating waste at your vacation home is clear. However, how can you, as the manager of a short-term rental, make sure that all the people who pass through your rental recycle properly?
Making sure your guests recycle their waste can be a challenging task! First, especially when you often welcome international tourists, they may not be aware of the current rules for recycling collection in your specific municipality.
In addition, most people are less willing to make an effort when they are on vacation. This means that if recycling becomes complicated, and they may decide not to do it.
Here are three tips you can follow to make sure your vacation rental guests recycle waste properly.
Every self-contained vacation rental should have recycling bins. They should be easily accessible and reachable so that guests do not have to make any effort to use them.
Much of the trash is produced while cooking, so it might be a good idea to place small recycling bins in the kitchen. Our suggestion is to opt for gray bins with colored lids, as they tend to absorb less dirt.
So, you have now prepared the different recycling bins and placed them in an accessible place? At this point, how can you make sure your guests use them properly?
As mentioned earlier, different countries may have different rules about what you throw in a particular bin. For example, in most areas in the UK Tetra Pak goes in paper, in Germany it goes in plastic. Furthermore, in some states, plastic must be cleaned before being thrown away. In others, it does not.
This means that if you want your guests to recycle, you will have to explain to them how to do it. We recommend that you:
As sustainable tourism becomes more popular, it is likely that many of your guests will appreciate your effort and follow your directions on proper waste separation.
Several sustainable solutions have developed in the tourism industry in recent years. Think, for example, of accommodations that ask guests whether they want their towels changed daily. In some cases, hotels, hostels or bed & breakfasts even offer a discount if the guest decides to opt for the greener option.
Why not do the same with waste separation?
A discount on admission to a museum, a free day passes for public transportation, a voucher for a local store, a welcome gift-the incentives you could offer them are many.
Cleaning jobs in a rental are a big source of waste. Imagine having a new guest every weekend: you will have to clean up well at the end of each stay, and this will inevitably create trash.
When you clean the accommodation yourself, you can safely sort the waste. But if you hire a cleaning company, how can you make sure the person in charge does the same?
The best option is to decide to work with a cleaning company that is openly committed to sustainability. If there is not one specifically in your area, you can still contact available cleaning services and make sure they sort waste.
Smoobu’s tip: Our channel manager works with a number of partners who provide cleaning services for vacation rentals. To learn more, check out our integrations.
Sooner or later, a piece of furniture or electronic device in your vacation home will break, and you will have to throw it away. With so many guests coming and going, it’s inevitable.
Special waste requires different treatment than everyday trash.
The benefits of recycling at your vacation home are many: