Blog Post

A graduate student at the Harvard University Extension School, Monica Munoz, authored a paper regarding organic waste management in the hotel sector in Massachusetts and the United States at large. The paper discusses the impacts of the Commercial Organics Waste Ban on affected hotels, the economic benefits of reducing food waste, and the potential that food waste diversion holds for the rest of the hotel sector.

Munoz writes that hotels stand to benefit significantly through reducing the amount of wasted food they throw away. Each ton, she argues, “is costing hotels between $3,000- $7,000 in purchasing, energy, labor, and other costs.” Just a twenty percent reduction in the food waste that Massachusetts hotels generate could save a combined $10.7 million annually and avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing more than 1,200 passenger cars from the road each year.

Munoz also highlights the social benefits that hotels would create through food waste diversion. Donating just one percent of the organic waste that Massachusetts hotels generate could produce 175,000 meals annually. According to Project Bread, 9.6% of Massachusetts households are food insecure.

The document emphasizes the importance of technical assistance for the efficacy of waste bans. Munoz cites RecyclingWorks as an example of how technical assistance has contributed to the success of a waste ban, noting that RecyclingWorks “provides the tools and expertise needed for organizations to implement a program.”

Hotels can evaluate how much food waste their facilities produce by using the RecyclingWorks Food Waste Estimation Guide. See how we helped one hotel estimate their waste and establish a food waste diversion program:

RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts assists businesses and institutions with recycling and food waste reduction through food donation and composting. To speak to a recycling expert, call our hotline: (888) 254-5525 or email us at