ST. PAUL – The Saint Paul Hotel, an historic, award-winning hotel in the heart of downtown Saint Paul has a long-standing commitment to environmental sustainability. According to the hotel’s director of operations, Ken Wieber, “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 providing a very high level of service and quality of food.”
Waste Wise staff visited the hotel’s two in-house restaurants and projected that an organics recycling program had the potential to significantly reduce the hotel’s waste output. Waste Wise connected Wieber with several waste haulers that could provide the needed services. While the haulers’ bids showed that the program could be financially feasible, Wieber wanted to get a better idea of what exactly was going into the hotel’s trash so he chose to contract with Waste Wise for a waste sort.
The waste sort study found that food waste and other compostable materials made up over 70 percent of the companies waste stream. According to Wieber, the waste sort was eye-opening. “It was surprising to find out how much of our waste stream was recyclable or compostable,” says Wieber. “I was very impressed with the detail of the data.” Based on the data noted in the waste sort report, Wieber decided to implement an organics diversion program at the hotel.
Waste wise helped the hotel implement the program including culling through waste hauler options and training employees on the new program. In the first 2 months of the program, 113,125 pounds (55.5 tons) of food waste was diverted from the waste stream. The Saint Paul Hotel is now removing approximately 85% of the waste from the waste stream and they expect to save more than $20,000 annually on waste hauling costs.
The hotel has also implemented several new energy efficiency projects. After an on-site energy consultation by Energy Smart program staff, three LED lighting projects were completed. All told, 223 inefficient lamps were replaced with efficiency LED lights. The Saint Paul Hotel expects to save 140,247 kWh per year, or an estimated annual cost savings of $12,191.
Waste Wise program services were provided under a contract with Ramsey and Washington County. Energy Smart program services were provided under a contract with Xcel Energy.