ST. LOUIS, MO. – December 28, 2016 -- The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis has completed year-one of a program designed to reduce hotel CO2 emissions-- and the initiative is generating positive early results.
The recently-launched project focuses on the practice of composting, and it is now fully operational in the hotel stewarding, in-room dining and banquet divisions. Included efforts range from the scrupulous scraping of plates to the consistent capture and collection of discarded food materials.
In the first 11 months of 2016, participating hotel teams composted 415,000 pounds of unused food materials – enough to require four compost pickups per week from area company, St. Louis Composting. After pick-up, the food waste is brought to a facility in Belleville, Illinois where it is mixed with yard waste and then decomposes to form compost. The compost is marketed to homeowners and landscapers in the St. Louis region. Compost improves soil structure, nutrient quality, and the water-holding capacity of soils. Keeping food scraps out of the landfill also reduces methane production and the need for further landfill capacity.
“We are making it a priority to educate all hotel staff on the importance of composting,” said Amanda Joiner, General Manager. “The next phase of this initiative will see composting rolled out in our Club Lounge and Employee Dining Room – and we’re also hopeful that the practice may become a habit in our own homes as well.”
So far this year, composting output by The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis has equated to the removal of 291 tons of CO2 emissions and 62 cars from the road. It is anticipated that 2017 will see an increase in composting production equal to another 10-plus tons per month.
The new Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis program complements numerous recycling and renewable energy initiatives at the hotel, including the 2016 installation of an on-property electric vehicle charging station, the recent introduction of sustainable seafood options for banquets and special events, and establishment of a hotel-wide Ritz-Carlton Environmental Action Conservation Team (REACT) which works with hotel staff and visiting groups to reduce energy and water usage and adopt sustainable water service options.