Potato compostThe hospitality industry generates a wide range of materials and can have significant quantities of cardboard, paper, food and beverage containers as well as food waste.  All of these materials have well established recycling markets and establishing programs can help reduce operational costs and provide a marketing edge. In addition, these facilities may have other specialized waste needs, such as mattresses.

Large members of the hospitality sector are subject to the lowered threshold of the Massachusetts commercial food waste ban that went into effect on November 1, 2022. The current commercial organics ban applies to businesses and institutions generating one-half ton or more food waste per week. RecyclingWorks provides free technical assistance to help hospitality businesses implement recycling and food waste diversion programs. Contact us to learn more: 888-254-5525 or info@recyclingworksma.com.

Recycling Cardboard, Paper, and Containers

Hotels in Massachusetts often use a single stream recycling program to collect cardboard, paper, and plastic, metal, and glass containers. In restaurants, communication with employees is key to collecting recyclable materials from the kitchen. In businesses where customers may also recycle materials, providing clearly labeling bins is important. Visit the MassDEP Recycle Smart MA website to learn more about materials typically accepted for single stream recycling and discuss any questions with your recycling hauler. Cardboard is often included with the single stream recycling. However, larger businesses may find a financial benefit to collecting this material separately.

Need help training your staff on single stream recycling best practices? RecyclingWorks developed an easy-to-implement training presentation for the hospitality industry: 


Composting Tool Kit

PDF For guidance on starting a food waste diversion program in the hospitality industry, see our Restaurant Food Waste Diversion Guide.

Case Studies

Hotel Food Donation and Composting: Lenox Hotel, Boston, MA

Learn how The Lenox Hotel has maintained a successful food waste diversion program, donating over 80 meals per month and diverting 312,000 pounds of food scraps for composting each year. See the previous Lenox Hotel Case Study (2014) to learn more about program implementation.


The Lenox Hotel Case Study: Learn more about The Lenox Hotel’s food donation and composting program.

Hotel Waste Diversion: Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel, Boston, MA

Learn how RecyclingWorks helped the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel in Boston improve their recycling efforts and develop a food donation program.

PDFWestin Boston Waterfront Hotel Case Study: Learn more about the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel’s food waste diversion and food donation program.

The Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel is also featured in the RecyclingWorks Food Donation instructional video. Watch the video and read the written Food Donation Case Study to learn how the hotel is partnering with a local food rescue organization, Rescuing Leftover Cuisine, to divert surplus prepared food from disposal and provide it to people in need.

Hotel Composting: Hilton Garden Inn, Devens, MA

PDF Hilton Garden Inn Case Study:  Learn about how the Hilton Garden Inn has implemented commercial composting in the Devens area.

Hotel Recycling:  Sheraton Colonial Hotel, Wakefield, MA


Sheraton Colonial Case Study:  Learn about the steps the Sheraton Colonial Hotel & Conference Center took to increase sustainability, save money, and create a culture of conservation with their employees.

Green Lodging Calculator

The Northeast Waste Management Officials’ Association (NEWMOA) has developed the Green Lodging Calculator to help lodging facilities and sustainable hospitality programs estimate the financial and environmental benefits from sustainable practices. Find the Green Lodging Calculator here.


Learn more about the following business sectors:


When you are ready to start or improve a recycling or composting program, call our Hotline at (888) 254-5524, or email us at info@recyclingworksma.com.