OperationsHousekeeping's Role in Supporting a 'Responsible Stay'

Housekeeping’s Role in Supporting a ‘Responsible Stay’

With the recent launch of AHLA’s Responsible Stay initiative and its endorsement by numerous Association members, state Association partners, and independent properties, let’s take a moment to consider how a hotel’s housekeeping department can contribute to this important environmental sustainability program.

Within the guestrooms: Place blue, single-stream recycling containers in each guestroom near the trash bin. This will remind guests to recycle their eligible items. Consider eliminating single-use bathroom amenities in favor of large format, wall-mounted shampoo and gel dispensers. Immediately report running toilets and dripping faucets to the engineering department for repair. As part of the systematic deep-cleaning program, low-flow showerheads and sink aerators should be cleaned or soaked to eliminate calcium and lime buildup. Toilet flapper valves should be replaced annually to ensure watertight seals. All guestroom lights should only use energy-saving compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) bulbs. Consider installing occupancy sensors or a room key activation slot that will deactivate guestroom lights and minimize HVAC output in unoccupied rooms. Routinely clean the air intake and exhaust areas for bathroom vents, AC grates, and window PTAC units. Place collateral material on the bed and in the bathroom to remind guests about your hotel’s linen reuse program.

Other hotel areas: In public restrooms, test the push- or motion-activated sinks to ensure they do not stick or run for prolonged periods. For onsite laundry, clean dryer lint traps twice a day to ensure optimal drying. Periodically, test the water temperature of extractors to prevent washing at extreme temperature ranges. Wash and dry only full loads of laundry. Install vending miser devices on all soda machines to minimize electricity consumption. Install an on-demand timer at the hotel’s jacuzzi pool to avoid heating and agitating the spa when not in use. Investigate whether the gray water from your hotel can be recaptured and used for landscape watering. Similarly, research the feasibility of recapturing steam or heat from mechanical equipment to use it to heat the pool or spa.

William D. Frye
William D. Frye
Dr. William D. Frye is a hospitality educator, researcher, consultant, and former hotel general manager. He is the co-author of AHLEI’s housekeeping textbook Managing Housekeeping Operations.

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