Sustainability 101

Client Spotlight:
Hotel Establishes Ongoing Partnership With Nonprofit To Avoid The Landfill

Fairmont Hotel San Francisco. Photo by Bobak Ha'Eri, CC
Fairmont Hotel San Francisco. Photo by Bobak Ha’Eri, CC

What do you do if you need to get rid of 100 gallons of furniture polish and clear out over 400 beds?

While many businesses would simply pay to get the items hauled away, often to the landfill, the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco turned to a nonprofit it had worked with before.

In September, we told you about how we helped the Fairmont keep hundreds of items out of the landfill by donating them to charities. The earlier donations were so successful that the Salvation Army and the hotel now have an ongoing partnership. Whenever the hotel has items that are no longer needed, they can work with the nonprofit to channel the materials to communities that can use them.

As a result, recently, the Salvation Army returned to the hotel to pick up over 100 gallons of furniture polish.  That saved the hotel the cost of ordering a hazardous waste pickup and disposal.

The nonprofit is also in the process of completing a massive pick up of 446 king and queen mattresses from the hotel before and after the Thanksgiving holiday–a donation valued at over $17,000.

This mattress donation is highly unusual, and is only possible because the Fairmont hotel and the Salvation Army already have an established and trusted working relationship.

Because mattress donations are guided by sanitary bedding laws, not all nonprofits will take them. Those that do will usually only take mattresses that are gently used with no rips or stains.

The Salvation Army is doing the big pick up at the Fairmont over 6 days so that the mattresses will spend minimum time in transit once they are removed from the hotel rooms, and before they are installed at homeless shelters and halfway houses affiliated with the charity.

How big an impact is the Fairmont making?

See for yourself. In just two months since September, this is what they have donated to various charities:

  • Hundreds of lamps, utensils, glassware, irons, stainless steel water and coffee pitchers.
  • Six large laundry bins of bathrobes, bath mats, and towels.
  • Multiple chairs, mirrors, Christmas ornaments, trays, glassware, vases, china, and linens.
  • 75 high-quality wooden boxes were donated to SCRAP, a nonprofit creative reuse center.
  • Over 1000 hangers went to St. Anthony’s Clothing Program, which provides essential support to people living in poverty.
  • 100 gallons of furniture polish
  • 446 king and queen beds

During this season of thanks, such donations for reuse are even more meaningful.

So the next time your business, office or building needs to clear out assets that are no longer needed, think about donating instead of the landfilling. Not only will you be doing good, but you might also save some money in disposal costs and tax benefits. All you have to do is make the right connection.

See Great Forest’s handy how-to: Transforming Waste – A Guide To Donating For Reuse, Avoiding Landfills.

 

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