THE Hyatt Regency Princeton in New Jersey, saved more than US$10,000 in 2009 by having its food scraps composted instead of landfilled. Like all of Hyatt’s 445 hotels and resorts, the Hyatt Regency Princeton has its own “Green Team” of staff from different sectors of the hotel, who train fellow employees on recycling procedures and look for new recycling, reduction and reuse opportunities. One member of that team, Charles Link, is the hotel’s Director of Engineering, and the driving force behind the food waste composting initiative.
In December 2007, Link attended a food waste recycling forum hosted by the Solid Waste Resource Renewal Group (SWRRG) of the Rutgers University (New Jersey) Agricultural Experiment Station. “I learned about the opportunity for the hotel to recycle food waste, and ways of enhancing our already established programs,” he says. At the forum, Link also learned about the Food and Organics Recycling for New Jersey (FOR NJ) Certification Process. FOR NJ is a coalition of retailers, restaurants, healthcare facilities, educational institutions, processors, regulators, councils, haulers, recyclers and residents that promotes organics diversion. To receive FOR NJ certification, the Hyatt had to complete these tasks: Conduct a waste and a purchasing audit; Become a partner of the U.S. EPA’s WasteWise Program and a member of FOR NJ; Contract with a hauler to collect the hotel’s food waste; and Host a WasteShed forum.
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