Composting Disposable Items

We live in a disposable society. It seems every day there's yet one more disposable item. Have you noticed that we have disposable gloves, diapers, cameras, contact lenses, cell phone, and slippers? Latex disposable gloves have long been a staple of the medical profession. In the hotel industry there are options of disposable coffee cups, napkins, to-go containers, and plates -- for starters. We'd like to see the hospitality industry in general, and the hotel industry in specific, be "disposable free". Not only do you save on hauling fees when you don't dispose of as many items, but also you make a statement about your quality when you provide durable serving items. Coffee from a porcelain mug is much better than from a disposable coffee cup. Steak from china or stoneware is more appealing than from a paper plate. Drinknig water from a glass is more satisfying than drinking from a paper or Styrofoam cup. Comfort is a main purpose of the hospitality industry, so providing durable goods that add comfort to your guests is your responsibilty.

But when you have to use disposable items, using items that can be composted make a better choice than those that can only be thrown away. The addition of a compost bin, either at your property or elsewhere in conjunction with others, allows for food scraps and compostable disposable items to be recycled into loam for gardening. There are more and more disposable items available that are made of compostable materials. You have bagasse, a sugar cane processing by-product, plastics made of corn, bamboo, and recycled paper napkins that can also be composted. Here at Best Green Hotels, we've seen and used bagasse products and were impressed by their looks and durability.

We very much like the concept of corn plastic, and have had clients ask "how is plastic made from corn", but we have one main reservation: recycling corn products plastic is not as main-stream as recycling standard plastics, and the two plastics can't be combined in the recycling process. We feel that when corn plastic recycling is easier, more prevalent, that then the use of corn plastic will be a good option too.

Variations on spellings: composte bin, Styrofoam