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The Saint Paul Hotel, located Downtown Saint Paul, offers four-star hotel accommodations, wedding receptions and meeting rooms.

Challenge

The historic Saint Paul Hotel in downtown Saint Paul has a long-standing commitment to environmental sustainability. They also have a unique take on sustainable practices.

“Guests tend not to think of silver, china and cloth napkins as being green or reducing waste, when actually these are very useful tools in reducing our waste stream while also providing a very high level of service,” said Ken Wieber, Director of Operations.

The Saint Paul Hotel wanted to look at more opportunities to reduce waste and increase recycling in its restaurants. They got in touch with BizRecycling’s Recycling Experts to learn about their options.

How We Helped

Our Recycling Expert met with managers at the hotel’s two in-house restaurants, the M St. Café and the Saint Paul Grill, as well as the hotel’s banquet and room service operations.

Wieber wanted to get a better idea of what exactly was going into the hotel’s trash, so he worked with our Recycling Expert to complete two waste sorts. The study found that, by weight, food waste and other compostable materials made up more than 70% of The Saint Paul Hotel’s waste stream.  An organics recycling program could significantly reduce the hotel’s waste output. 

Our Recycling Experts helped the hotel get bids for trash, recycling, and organics recycling services from a variety of haulers. Wieber found a single hauler to take over all of the hotel’s trash, recycling and organics collection services. The hauler worked with the hotel’s management to determine the best configuration for recycling bins and dumpsters.

Outcome

In the program’s first month, the Saint Paul Hotel diverted almost 52,000 pounds (26 tons) of compostable organic waste. If that diversion rate continues, the program will divert over 600,000 pounds of food and other compostable materials every year.

Additionally, it is expected that the program will save The Saint Paul Hotel over $20,000 per year. For Wieber, the program’s notoriety is an added bonus. “Our guests are asking for their events to be environmentally conscious, and we are proud to be a leader in that area.”

Now that the commercial composting program is up and running, Wieber is working with the hotel’s purchasing manager to switch things like straws, to-go containers and other items over to compostable alternatives.