sustainable hospitality
Waste Management

The City of New York under its OneNYC sustainability initiative is has pledged a commitment to divert waste towards its Zero Waste Plan 2030. New York City Businesses generate approximately 4 million tons of trash per year.  Only about 25% of that is currently recycled.  A hotel can generate as much as three tons of waste per day.  Depending on operations and facilities, 50% – 80% that waste can be recycled saving money and resources.  We also send 1.5 million tons of food waste to landfill every year producing methane emissions which is a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Removing organic material from landfills not only benefits the atmosphere, it also presents an opportunity to harness its positive value as a potential clean energy source.

Separated correctly, generated NYC recyclables are diligently collected, transported and processed by the private city waste hauling industry. Materials are separated by type and grade and shipped to manufacturers closing the loop on our recycling efforts.

Properties of all sizes are required to install and maintain recycling systems in front and back of the house and in all departments.  Hotels operating over 150 rooms and F & B outlets of any scale are also required to comply with the new business organics rules and source separate and recycle food waste.  DSNY and DOH inspectors are monitoring compliance and violations are subject to fines.

As of August 1, 2016, all NYC businesses have been required to comply with business recycling rules.   Establishments are regularly visited and audited by both DSNY and DOH inspectors and subject to violations if programs are not installed correctly or required signage, decals and paperwork are not properly displayed.

More information can be found here at DSNY:

Regulations at-a-glance:

  • Recycling must be installed in all areas, departments and outlets.
  • Organics separation must be installed and removed by reputable hauler from all properties over 150 rooms.
  • Trash storage areas must be set up according to code and required signage and decals displayed at all times.
  • All staff must be trained and aware of all regulations pertaining to their duties and waste they generate or transport.

Smoking pollutes the air, litters our streets, water, and results in accidental ingestion by small animals and children. Cooperation is needed in order to lessen this impact, and restore the planet to health.

Wastecare Corporation Guidelines Waste Recycling Considerations and Equipment for Hotels, Resorts & Motels

Food Bank Food Bank For New York City has been the city’s major hunger-relief organization working to end hunger throughout the five boroughs for more than 30 years. Nearly one in five New Yorkers relies on Food Bank for food and other resources. Food Bank takes a strategic, multifaceted approach that provides meals and builds capacity in the neediest communities, while raising awareness and engagement among all New Yorkers.

Clean the World Stop throwing away slightly used soap bars and plastic bottles discarded by guests. Clean the World recycles them and saves lives.

City Harvest Now serving New York City for more than 25 years, City Harvest is the world’s first food rescue organization, dedicated to feeding the city’s hungry men, women, and children.

Material for the Arts Material for the Arts is New York’s premier reuse center. MFTA collects unwanted materials from companies or individuals and redistributes them to artists and educators. This process removes hundreds of tons of waste every year and helps to promote waste reduction.


NYC Stuff Exchange NYC stuff Exchange allows NYC residents to search for places where they can donate, sell, buy, rent, or repair different types of used goods. The goal of this website is to help sustain the environment by encouraging the reuse of materials.


ReuseNYC Donations Exchange ReuseNYC Donations Exchange is a free service, created and funded by the NYC Department of Sanitation, which facilitates the exchange of used and surplus goods and equipment from organizations that no longer need them to other entities that do.

Rock and Wrap it Up! Rock and Wrap it up is a national think tank working to reduce poverty. Using greening tactics, we recover food and other assets to be given to agencies fighting poverty, increasing their operational budgets. This allows the agencies to hire more services such as tutors, social workers, job placement counselors and mental health counselors to attack the root cause of poverty.

Global Green USA – Coalition for Resource Recovery Global Green USA’s Coalition for Resource Recovery helps businesses increase profits by transforming waste into assets. The Coalition identifies and promotes effective waste diversion technologies and programs through conducting pilots.

Mayor’s Food ChallengeThe Mayor’s Food Waste Challenge is a voluntary program to showcase NYC businesses committed to reducing the amount of their food waste that goes to landfill.

New and Emerging Food Waste TEchnologies Guide to new and emerging food waste disposal options

Further With Food a new online resource that gathers relevant material together in one place to make it easier for businesses and organizations looking for information and help addressing food waste issues.