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Final report

The Composition of Waste Disposed


of by the UK Hospitality Industry

A research study to develop a method for estimating the composition of


mixed waste disposed of by pubs, restaurants, hotels and quick service
restaurants. The report presents indicative estimates of the composition
of mixed waste sent for disposal for each UK nation.
Project code: RES093-001
Research date: January 2009 to July 2010

ISBN: 1-84405-452-7
Date: July 2011

WRAPs vision is a world without waste,


where resources are used sustainably.
We work with businesses and individuals
to help them reap the benefits of reducing
waste, develop sustainable products and
use resources in an efficient way.
Find out more at www.wrap.org.uk

Contributors to the main report


Phil Williams, Barbara Leach, Katie Christensen (WRAP) | Gary Armstrong, Darren Perrin (SKM Enviros) | Rebecca
Hawkins (CESHI Oxford Brookes University)| Andrew Lane (RLP) | Glyn Jones (ADAS) | Peter Scholes (Urban
Mines)
Peer review
Robin Curry (SRI)
Front cover photography: Hotel kitchen from istockphoto.com
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information provided as it is based upon numerous project-specific assumptions (such as scale, location, tender context, etc.).
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Acknowledgements
WRAP is grateful to everyone who contributed to the report, in particular:

the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Scottish Government, the Welsh
Assembly Government, the Northern Ireland Executive and the Yorkshire and Humber Assembly, all of which
jointly funded the research;

the consortium comprising SKM Enviros, the Centre for Environmental Studies in the Hospitality Industry
(CESHI) at Oxford Brookes University, the University of Reading Statistical Services Centre, RLP and NTouch
for conducting the literature review, designing and administering the survey, carrying out the waste audits
and compositional analysis, and preparing the first few drafts of the report on which this final version is
heavily based;

ADAS and Urban Mines for calculating national estimates of waste arisings;

Robin Curry at SRI for carrying out the peer review;

all the members of the project steering group within WRAP and the funding bodies, but particularly Alan Bell
(now retired) of the Environment Agency and David Lee of Defra for commenting on sampling and statistical
matters; and

all the anonymous hospitality premises that spared staff time to take part in the study.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry

Executive summary
Background, aims and objectives
For many years it has been known that the UK hospitality sector is a significant producer of waste and that much
of this waste could be recycled or recovered.1 However, because hospitality businesses tend to dispose of their
waste in a mixed form in general waste containers, not much is known about the make-up of that waste.
Knowing what the waste consists of is essential if the hospitality industry is to save money and reduce its carbon
footprint by becoming more resource-efficient. It is this knowledge gap that the research summarised in this
report seeks to address.
Although analysing the composition of waste is a commonplace activity for household waste, few previous
studies have sought to look at business waste in this way. There are significant logistical challenges as well as
confidentiality and health and safety issues to overcome, and major difficulties in ensuring that the research can
draw reliable conclusions. The research therefore had two key objectives:
1. to develop and test methods for quantifying mixed waste sent for disposal by businesses, using the UK

hospitality sector as a test bed; and


2. to provide estimates of the amount of each type of waste found in the mixed waste that would normally go

to landfill.

Scope and definition


The hospitality sector is commonly split into two subsectors:

the profit sector: businesses where providing catering and/or accommodation services is the primary
purpose of the business and where the aim is to maximise profit (e.g. hotels, guesthouses, bed & breakfast
establishments, youth hostels, restaurants, QSRs and pubs); and

the cost sector: businesses where providing hospitality services is not the main function of the organisation
and where the aim is not to maximise profit (e.g. catering and accommodation services within the premises
of schools, hospitals, prisons, military facilities etc.).

This work focuses on the profit sector and for the purposes of this research, is defined as follows:

includes hotels, restaurants, pubs and quick service restaurants (QSRs);


excludes the leisure sector, including self-catering businesses;
excludes the cost sector; and
excludes businesses that do not pay for their waste to be removed on the grounds that they will produce
only very small amounts.

Methods
The research, which was conducted in 2009 and 2010, consisted of:

a literature review to gather information to help in the development of a sampling strategy;


a collation of waste data from 60 large hospitality chains;
a telephone survey of 1660 individual business sites; and

For example, a 2004 Scottish survey showed that the hotels and restaurants sector produced 14% of all business and
public sector waste in Scotland, the second most significant sector after wholesale and retail
(http://www.sepa.org.uk/waste/waste_data/commercial__industrial_waste/business_waste_surveys.aspx). Defras 2004
survey found that in England the sector contributed more than 5% of business waste arisings and 11% of commercial waste
arisings.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 2

a site audit of 138 businesses across the UK, together with removal and compositional analysis of their mixed
waste (mainly waste for disposal but also some waste for recycling where two or more materials were
collected co-mingled).

In total, 12 tonnes of mixed waste was collected from the selected hospitality businesses and sorted into 37
categories of material. The findings from the compositional analysis of this mixed waste were then used
alongside Defras 2010 survey of industrial and commercial waste, the Environment Agencys 2002/03 industrial
and commercial waste dataset and Office of National Statistics (ONS) business population data for 2009 to
estimate the quantity and composition of mixed waste in the UK.
The figures presented in this report should be regarded as indicative of the waste being sent to disposal by pubs,
hotels, restaurants and quick service restaurants in the UK. The sample size is quite small and there are errors
associated with both the Defra survey data used to derive quantities and the compositional data used to estimate
the material make-up of the waste. Also, seasonal differences in waste composition could not be taken into
account in this study.

The amount of waste produced, recycled and disposed


It is estimated that in 2009 UK hotels, pubs, restaurants and QSRs produced just over 3.4 million tonnes of
waste; of this, 1.6 million tonnes (47%) was recycled, reused or composted and nearly 1.5 (43%) million tonnes
was mixed waste that went for disposal, mainly to landfill. The remaining 10% consisted of relatively rare waste
types and disposal/treatment routes. This is shown in Table 1 below.
Table 1

Nation

The waste produced, recycled and disposed by the UK hospitality industry in 2009 by sub-sector
and nation (rounded to the nearest 1,000 tonnes)
Subsector
Hotels

England

9,000

Pubs

1,376,000

552,000

643,000

182,000

QSRs

202,000

88,000

110,000

3,000

Restaurants

894,000

457,000

350,000

88,000
282,000

2,842,000

1,228,000

1,334,000

Hotels

27,000

10,000

17,000

1,000

Pubs

89,000

35,000

41,000

12,000

QSRs

11,000

5,000

6,000

Restaurants

41,000

21,000

16,000

4,000

168,000

71,000

80,000

17,000

76,000

27,000

47,000

2,000

Pubs

112,000

45,000

52,000

15,000

QSRs

23,000

10,000

12,000

Restaurants
Subtotal

97,000

49,000

38,000

9,000

308,000

131,000

149,000

26,000

Hotels

12,000

4,000

8,000

Pubs

34,000

14,000

16,000

5,000

QSRs

11,000

5,000

6,000

Restaurants

40,000

20,000

16,000

4,000

97,000

43,000

46,000

9,000

Subtotal
Hotels

UK

Non-mixed waste or
mixed waste
managed in other
ways

231,000

Hotels

Northern
Ireland

Waste destined for


recycling/reuse

131,000

Subtotal

Scotland

Mixed (residual)
waste
destined for
disposal

370,000

Subtotal

Wales

Total waste

485,000

171,000

303,000

11,000

Pubs

1,610,000

646,000

752,000

213,000

QSRs

246,000

108,000

135,000

4,000

Restaurants
UK Total

1,072,000

548,000

419,000

105,000

3,415,000

1,473,000

1,609,000

334,000

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 3

Characteristics of the waste sent for disposal


Of the almost 1.5 million tonnes of waste that was sent for disposal:

businesses
businesses
businesses
businesses

in
in
in
in

England disposed of just over 1.2 million tonnes;


Scotland disposed of just under 133,000 tonnes;
Wales disposed of just over 72,000 tonnes; and
Northern Ireland disposed of just over 42,000 tonnes.

The waste disposed of, mainly to landfill, represents an opportunity for reuse, recycling and recovery; 78% of it
was made up of four potentially recyclable materials:

food (600,000 tonnes or 41%);


glass (213,000 tonnes or 14%);
paper (196,000 tonnes or 13%); and
card (134,000 tonnes or 9%).

Waste management practices


Management of waste destined for disposal is very traditional, with most companies relying on four-wheeled bins
to contain mixed waste for disposal. The use of council-provided services such as bottle banks in pub car parks is
relatively common; it may be that many of these council-run services are used without permission or payment,
and possibly illegally if the Duty of Care is not complied with. On-site waste treatment such as the use of
compactors and composting is relatively rare.
Recycling is widespread but not universal: overall, 76% of businesses claim to recycle at least one material. Glass
and card are the most commonly recycled materials. By contrast, only 26% of businesses recycle plastics and
just 21% recycle metals. Food waste recycling is rare while recycling of cooking oil is widespread. Many
businesses would like to recycle, or recycle more, but cited a lack of recycling services and space as the main
barriers. This study does not focus on the waste already going for recycling but looks at the opportunities for
increased recycling presented by the waste that still goes for disposal.

Opportunities for waste prevention


Waste prevention involves not producing waste in the first place. This research has identified that the hospitality
sector has a major opportunity to reduce the amount of food waste it produces. Two-thirds of the food that was
thrown away could have been eaten if it had been better portioned, managed, stored and/or prepared, with the
remaining one-third consisting of items that are unavoidable waste as they are not usually consumed (e.g.
banana skins, vegetable peelings). This study estimates that the UK hospitality sector (profit only) threw away
400,000 tonnes of avoidable food waste in 2009.
The costs associated with avoidable food waste are estimated to be in the order of 722 million2 which includes
food costs, haulage and disposal to landfill. Although the prevention of food waste offers the sector a significant
opportunity to reduce waste and cut costs, doing so in practice may be challenging because of the need to
ensure that customers feel they are getting value for money. WRAP will continue its work with the sector to look
at ways in which food and packaging waste can be reduced without damaging customer perceptions.
There are also opportunities to reduce packaging waste, but this is generally not within the control of any one
hospitality business but needs to be tackled across the industry as a whole, through the whole supply chain.

The costs figures used to estimate potential savings are taken from work conducted in 2007 and 2009. These factors are
likely to be updated as new evidence emerges.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 4

Opportunities for waste recycling and recovery


The hospitality sector has made good progress in recycling, with the sector overall recycling 47% of the waste
produced in 2009, our analysis suggests that over 70% of the waste that went to landfill could have been
recycled using existing markets. This increases to 80% if emerging markets for materials that are currently
difficult to recycle (e.g. mixed plastics, liquid cartons) are included. Although this study did not investigate the
composition of recycled waste, the questionnaire survey found that glass and card were widely recycled and that
paper, plastics and metals were recycled to some extent (see Figure 12, page 56).
Food waste presents a particular opportunity. Because not all food waste can be avoided, improvements could
focus on diverting waste away from landfill into less environmentally damaging treatment processes. Currently,
200,000 tonnes of food waste is unavoidable and disposed of without any original packaging. This waste could
be captured in a separate recycling collection and sent for anaerobic digestion (AD) where energy can be
recovered from it.
If the recyclable waste generated by the hospitality industry was diverted to recycling it is estimated that savings
of 0.95 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions could be made.
This research estimates that UK hospitality businesses pay around 1.02 billion a year to buy all the food that is
wasted. If all this waste was diverted from landfill where most currently goes to AD, businesses could
potentially save 6.6 million a year because AD is typically a cheaper option than landfill ( currently around 11
cheaper per tonne; the potential savings from diverting unavoidable food waste are in the region of 2 million a
year). As AD facilities and associated collections of food waste from businesses become more widespread in the
UK, more and more hospitality businesses should be able to take advantage of these economic savings. If
avoidable food waste was prevented and unavoidable food waste diverted to AD, the potential savings to the
hospitality industry are in the region of 724 million a year.

Methodological lessons
The research has demonstrated that a compositional analysis of business waste is possible, albeit challenging
and relatively expensive. The methodological lessons described below should prove valuable for future studies of
the composition of business waste.

We attempted to reduce the costs of the research by making use of information held by companies rather
than surveying and sampling waste. However, despite contacting many large chains, few of these responded
to requests and, in the event, none of the corporate records received could be used owing to the different
methods of recording waste data. A significant investment of time and effort is required to work with large
corporations to obtain and standardise waste data in order to make it useful. By contrast, Defras large-scale
study of industry and commerce in England found that many head offices of large corporations could provide
useful information; 28% of the data points in the hotels and catering sector in Defras survey came from
corporate records. The explanation for this could lie in differences in the type of information being requested,
and the timescales within which it had to be provided.

The research substantiated our expectations that engaging businesses to participate in waste audits would be
difficult. Overall, 18% of businesses who completed the telephone survey agreed to a site audit and to have
their waste taken away for analysis. Participation could be improved in future studies by being more explicit
about the process for the site audit and compositional analysis; at the time recruitment was carried out for
this research, the methods had not been finalised and this uncertainty may have deterred some businesses.

Ensuring that waste audits were scheduled to maximise the quantity and types of waste collected also proved
difficult. This might be addressed by contacting waste contractors directly when scheduling the audit rather
than relying on information provided by the business. A longitudinal study to calibrate variations in waste
generation over time would also be useful but would be expensive.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 5

The logistics of collecting and sorting waste proved challenging. Sorting waste on businesses premises was
ruled out at an early stage due to concerns about customer perceptions, health and safety and lack of space.
Sites where waste could be sorted were difficult to find and, as a result, travel times between business
premises and sorting sites were longer than anticipated. Future studies should build in plenty of time to
secure suitable sorting sites close to the areas where waste is likely to be collected.

Applying the well-developed waste composition analysis methods used for household waste to business waste
was relatively unproblematic.

Established volume-to-weight conversion factors were found to overestimate the density of waste as
measured at the point of collection. This work has generated new estimates for the density of waste
materials found in small containers (i.e. 1.1m3 and under) and has supported the notion that the density of a
given material will vary according to the container used to hold the waste.

The timescale for this research was very limited for funding-related reasons. Future studies should allocate
several months simply to plan the work and secure suitable sorting sites.

An important note
The exploratory nature and intrinsic complexity of this research resulted in relatively small sample sizes. The
information in this report should therefore be regarded as indicative of the quantities of waste produced by
elements of the hospitality sector. Although levels of confidence are expressed for the compositional results in
Annex B, further work is needed to generate confidence intervals around the tonnage data; this will be part of a
future project.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 6

Contents
1.0

Introduction ................................................................................................................................ 9
1.1 Background ............................................................................................................................ 9
1.1.1
The hospitality sector ............................................................................................... 9
1.1.2
The waste and resources agenda .............................................................................. 9
1.2 Aims and objectives .............................................................................................................. 10
1.3 What is classified as a hospitality business in this research? .................................................... 11
1.4 Report structure ................................................................................................................... 12

2.0

Methodology ..............................................................................................................................13
2.1 Overview ............................................................................................................................ 13
2.2 Literature review ................................................................................................................... 13
2.3 Corporate survey .................................................................................................................. 15
2.4 Telephone survey ................................................................................................................. 15
2.4.1
Drawing up the sampling framework ....................................................................... 15
2.4.2
Telephone survey sample sizes ............................................................................... 17
2.4.3
Development of the telephone questionnaire ........................................................... 18
2.4.4
Telephone survey bias ........................................................................................... 19
2.4.5
Telephone survey completion rates ......................................................................... 19
2.5 Waste audit methodology ...................................................................................................... 21
2.5.1
Waste audit sampling framework ............................................................................ 21
2.5.2
Securing sufficient samples and potential bias .......................................................... 22
2.5.3
The on-site waste audit process .............................................................................. 23
2.5.4
Off-site sorting and analysis of waste ...................................................................... 26
2.5.5
Final sampling for waste audits ............................................................................... 28
2.6 Calculating the composition of mixed waste ............................................................................ 29
2.6.1
Estimating the total quantity of mixed waste each year ............................................. 30
2.6.2
Calculating the overall composition of mixed waste for each subsector ....................... 31
2.7 Generating UK estimates of mixed waste quantity and composition ........................................... 31
2.7.1
The total amount of mixed waste the choice of the Defra dataset ........................... 32
2.7.2
The total number of hospitality businesses the ONS data........................................ 34
2.7.3
Assessing the suitability and compatibility of the different datasets ............................ 35
2.7.4
The average amount of mixed waste per company ................................................... 35
2.7.5
Gross up methodology for UK waste estimates of total waste .................................... 37
2.7.6
Gross up methodology for UK waste estimates of total mixed waste
and its composition ................................................................................................ 37
2.8 Calculating carbon benefits of preventing, recycling and recovering waste ................................. 38
2.8.1
Carbon savings from food waste recovery ................................................................ 38
2.8.2
Carbon savings from food waste prevention ............................................................. 38
2.8.3
Carbon savings from preventing and recycling key waste streams .............................. 39
2.9 Calculating cost savings from preventing and recovering food waste ......................................... 39
2.9.1
Potential cost savings from reduced food purchasing ................................................ 39
2.9.2
Potential cost savings from reduced food waste disposal ........................................... 40
2.9.3
Total potential cost savings from preventing food waste ........................................... 40
2.9.4
Total potential cost savings from diverting waste away from landfill to AD .................. 40
2.10 The remainder of the report ................................................................................................... 41

3.0

The waste disposed of by the UK hospitality industry .............................................................42


3.1 Introduction ......................................................................................................................... 42
3.2 Recap on methods ................................................................................................................ 42
3.3 Recap on sources of error ...................................................................................................... 42
3.4 Summary waste estimates for the UK hospitality profit sector ................................................... 43
3.5 The composition of mixed (residual) waste produced by the UK hospitality industry .................... 44
3.6 The opportunities for increased recycling of mixed waste ......................................................... 50
3.7 Opportunities for carbon savings ............................................................................................ 51

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 7

3.8
3.9

Opportunities for financial savings .......................................................................................... 52


Business waste benchmarks ................................................................................................. 52

4.0

Waste management practices of the hospitality sector ...........................................................53


4.1 Waste collection.................................................................................................................... 53
4.2 How mixed waste is kept on-site ............................................................................................ 53
4.3 On-site waste treatment technologies ..................................................................................... 54
4.4 Extent of recycling ................................................................................................................ 55
4.5 Materials recycled ................................................................................................................. 55
4.6 Recycling services used ......................................................................................................... 56
4.7 Barriers to recycling amongst non-recyclers ............................................................................. 57
4.8 Waste minimisation policies ................................................................................................... 58

5.0

Implications of the study for future research into industrial and commercial waste .............59
5.1 Is a composition-led approach practicable? ............................................................................. 59
5.1.1
Location of the sampled businesses......................................................................... 59
5.1.2
Encouraging businesses to participate ..................................................................... 59
5.1.3
Getting the timing right .......................................................................................... 60
5.2 Is a composition-led approach affordable? .............................................................................. 60
5.2.1
The need for expertise ........................................................................................... 60
5.2.2
The size of the sample needed for the telephone survey ........................................... 61
5.2.3
The logistics of collecting and sorting waste ............................................................. 61
5.3 Is self-reported information on quantities of waste from telephone surveys an adequate
proxy for an on-site audit? ..................................................................................................... 61
5.4 Is useful data available from large corporate companies? ......................................................... 62
5.5 How reliable are existing bulk density factors? ......................................................................... 62
5.6 How reliable is the approach to scaling up the results? ............................................................. 63

6.0

Conclusions................................................................................................................................65
6.1 Significant quantities of waste are produced by pubs, hotels, QSRs and restaurants there is
considerable scope for waste prevention and increased recycling and recovery ........................... 65
6.2 Most waste goes for disposal there is considerable scope for increased recycling ..................... 65
6.3 On-site waste management is still very traditional there is considerable scope for the
introduction of new services................................................................................................... 66
6.4 The overall approach taken by this study has proved to be effective .......................................... 66
6.5 The telephone survey provided useful information but is not on its own an adequate
technique for quantifying the composition of waste .................................................................. 67
6.6 The logistics of collecting waste from the sites proved challenging ............................................ 67
6.7 Opportunities for hospitality businesses .................................................................................. 68

Appendix
Appendix
Appendix
Appendix
Appendix
Appendix
Appendix
Appendix
Appendix
Appendix

A The composition of mixed waste in the UK nations ................................................................... 69


B The composition of mixed waste from waste audits .................................................................. 74
C Example of waste audit map................................................................................................... 80
D Corporate waste survey ......................................................................................................... 81
E Bulk density data ................................................................................................................... 85
F Telephone survey questionnaire .............................................................................................. 87
G Recycling market assumptions ................................................................................................ 95
H Average estimated meal weight .............................................................................................. 96
I Literature review and bibliography ........................................................................................... 97
J Peer review by SRI Research and WRAPs comments on the points made ................................. 119

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 8

1.0

Introduction

1.1

Background

1.1.1 The hospitality sector


Latest figures indicate that the hospitality sector employs around 2.4 million people across the UK.3 The sector
comprises a diverse range of business activities including hotels, pubs, restaurants, catering services, holiday
parks and caravan/camping sites. Major five-star hotels and corporate catering and facilities management
companies are included alongside modest bed and breakfast establishments and seasonal cafs.4 Statistics on
the size and composition of the sector are available from a number of sources; a report prepared by Horizons for
Success gives the following figures in its latest research in terms of number of outlets.5
Table 2

Subsector

Profit

Cost

Profile of the hospitality sector in the UK in 2010

Parameter

Number of
outlets

% of sector

% of sector
eligible for
inclusion in this
research

Hotels

45,840

17.7

17.7

Restaurants

27,738

10.7

10.7

Quick Service

31,368

12.1

12.1

Pubs

45,863

17.7

17.7

Leisure

19,551

7.5

Not included

Staff catering

19,259

7.4

Not included

Healthcare

31,928

12.3

Not included

Education

34,428

13.3

Not included

3,078

1.2

Not included

259,053

100.0

Services
Total

58.2

The sector is characterised by:


a large number of very small businesses (around 22% of the businesses are run by the proprietor and have
no employees, and 99% are classified as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs);
an operating model that dictates a large number of relatively small premises, even within large commercial
groups;
businesses that are operated as a lifestyle option (e.g. as a way of financing retirement to the coast) rather
than a profit-driven business;6 and
7
a very young workforce with high levels of staff turnover.

1.1.2 The waste and resources agenda


Food and packaging waste continues to be a priority area for the European Union (EU), the UK and the devolved
governments. The hospitality sector is likely to be a significant producer of this type of waste. However, there is
very little information available at a UK level on the amounts of different types of waste generated and the
3

4
5

Oxford Economics (2010) Economic contribution of UK hospitality industry


www.baha-uk.org/OxfordEconomics.pdf
British Hospitality Association 2008
Horizons (2011) UK Foodservice Industry in 2010 (updated March 2011)

http://www.horizonsforsuccess.com/files/UK%20Foodservice%20Industry%202010.pdf
6

Morrison, A., Andrew, R., Baum, T. (2001) The lifestyle economics of small tourism businesses Journal of Travel & Tourism
Research 1 no. 1-2.
People 1st (2006) The workforce hokey cokey who's in, and who's out?
http://www.people1st.co.uk/default.asp?sID=1139851177627&nStart=10

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 9

opportunities for further recovery and recycling. Although relatively recent studies have been carried out in each
of the four UK nations on waste generation overall, detailed information is lacking on the composition of the
mixed waste streams that go for disposal, streams that are significant for most sectors of the economy including
the hospitality sector. This presents a significant knowledge gap to both WRAP and its stakeholders which this
research has sought to address.
UK governments have come under increasing pressure to improve their knowledge of the industrial and
commercial waste stream.8 As well as aiming to generate new information on the waste generated by the
hospitality sector, one of the key objectives of this project was therefore to develop a workable method for
gathering more detailed information on mixed waste composition in businesses more generally. Although
analysing the composition of mixed waste is common practice for the household waste stream, no studies that
we are aware of have attempted to do so systematically across a whole sector of the economy. We
acknowledged from the outset that this would be a costly and difficult project logistically, statistically and
operationally. It was expected that the lessons learnt from the project would feed into the commissioning
process for future industrial and commercial waste surveys.
Although systematic UK-level data on the quantity and composition of hospitality waste is lacking, a number of
individual studies have previously been conducted into the waste production characteristics of the sector. These
have found that:

the sector produces a relatively large quantity of waste that is broadly similar to domestic waste;9
waste from the sector is relatively heavy and heavier than comparable waste from other service sector
sites;10
the sector produces a considerable quantity of glass waste and a high percentage of this is not recycled;11
the sector produces a large quantity of food waste, much of which is not recycled/composted;12
recycling rates within the sector are relatively low, with a high percentage of businesses utilising facilities that
are supposed to be restricted to households;11 and
there is considerable awareness within the sector that good environmental practices reduce operating costs.
A survey by NetRegs13 indicated that 72% of hotel and restaurant SMEs considered this to be the case. Many
corporate businesses within the sector also make specific commitments to waste reduction.14 There are,
however, a number of barriers to effective engagement in waste minimisation or waste recycling especially
for the proprietor-run businesses and SMEs. These barriers include limited staff resources, lack of access to
commercial recycling services and lack of storage space.15,16,17

1.2

Aims and objectives

The aim of the research was to produce reliable estimates of the amounts and types of waste generated by the
UK hospitality sector through the development of a method that would enable the composition of mixed waste to
be quantified. Specific project objectives were to:

10

11

12
13
14
15

16
17

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee Seventh Report on Waste Reduction (2008) recommended that
the Government arrange for comprehensive surveys to collect data on the various waste streams in the UK thus enabling
the formation of an overall strategic direction and policies.
Todd, M. and Hawkins, R. (2001) Waste counts: a handbook for accommodation operators CESHI, Oxford Brookes
University: Oxford
Thomas, C., Dacombe, P., Maycox, A., Banks, C., Khan, T., and Slater, R. (2007) Identification of key resource streams in
commercial and industrial waste from small businesses in the food sector The Open University: Milton Keynes (Integrated
Waste Systems Research Group)
Hawkins, R., Carlton Smith, J. and Todd, M. (2004a) Recycling urban glass. WRAP: Banbury
Hawkins, R., Carlton Smith, J. and Todd, M. (2004b) Glass goes green WRAP: Banbury
Oakdene Hollins (2008) Hospitality sector glass collection WRAP: Banbury
NetRegs (2007) SME environment 2007 UK summary www.environment-agency.gov.uk
E.g. The Hiltons commitment www.hiltonworldwide.com/aboutus/sustainability.htm
WRAP (2007) Glass collected from licensed premises: determination of how much glass is collected for recycling from
licensed premises WRAP: Banbury
Oakdene Hollins (2008) Hospitality sector glass collection WRAP: Banbury
Bohdanowicz, P. and Martinac, I. (2003) Attitudes towards sustainability in chain hotels results of a European survey
www.irbnet.de/daten/iconda/CIB5834.pdf

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 10

estimate the amount of different types of waste being produced by the sector, with particular emphasis on
the composition of the waste currently sent for disposal;
draw conclusions about the reasons for the waste being produced, the extent to which it is avoidable or, if it
is unavoidable, the extent to which it could be managed in a more resource-efficient manner; and
draw conclusions about how successful the research method was, how it might be improved and how it could
be applied to other industrial and commercial sectors.

During the initial project inception and scoping meetings, the scope of the project was refined to:
focus on the four main subsectors that comprise the profit element of the hospitality sector, i.e. hotels,
pubs, restaurants and quick service restaurants (QSRs) (58% of hospitality outlets as Table 2 above shows);
focus on mixed waste going for disposal rather than waste that is already collected for recycling;
assess the extent to which waste that is avoidable could be managed in a more resource-efficient manner;
and
contribute to the development of an evidence base for resource efficiency decision-making in the hospitality
sector.

Throughout the project, there was a tension between its exploratory aspects and the need to produce robust
estimates in a cost-effective manner.

1.3

What is classified as a hospitality business in this research?

The hospitality sector is generally considered to consist of two discrete elements:

the profit sector: businesses where providing catering and/or accommodation services is the primary
purpose of the business and where the aim is to maximise profit (e.g. hotels, guesthouses, bed & breakfast
establishments, youth hostels, restaurants, QSRs and pubs); and

the cost sector: businesses where providing hospitality services is not the main function of the organisation
and where the aim is not to maximise profit (e.g. catering and accommodation services within the premises
of schools, hospitals, prisons, military facilities etc.).

It was agreed during the early stages of the project that it would be beneficial to focus the study on the profit
sector. This was because:

profit-sector hospitality businesses are legally responsible for their own disposal arrangements, whereas
businesses in the cost sector often dispose of their waste alongside that generated by the organisation they
are operating within, making identification and analysis of hospitality-specific waste a more complex piece of
research; and

profit-sector hospitality businesses are likely to have greater control over the range of products they buy,
which means any recommendations relating to smarter purchasing would be more straightforward for the
profit sector to implement.

Following an initial literature review, the scope of businesses included in the study was further refined to include
only those that pay for their waste to be collected and to exclude those that use household waste collection
systems. Evidence from other studies has suggested that a significant proportion of hospitality businesses use
household waste collection systems for some of their waste, especially for recycling. Rural businesses are also
more likely to make use of household collection systems.18 These businesses were excluded because they were
likely to be very small businesses and including them in the research would not be consistent with ensuring value
for money. This resulted in 4% of the 150,809 businesses included in table 2 as being in scope being
subsequently removed from scope; this is show in Figure 1 below.

18

Hawkins, R., Carlton Smith, J. and Todd, M. (2004a) Recycling urban glass WRAP: Banbury
Hawkins, R., Carlton Smith, J. and Todd, M. (2004b) Glass goes green WRAP: Banbury
BREW Centre for Local Authorities (2008) Highlights of local authority trade waste and recycling reports 2007/08 BREW
Centre: Oxford www.environmentcentre.com/documents/LAtradewastereportssummary07-08.pdf

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 11

Businesses for which self-catering was the primary form of hospitality service (e.g. caravan/camping sites, selfcatering cottages) were also excluded from this study. This was because policy approaches for this type of
business would be very different than for others in the sector, focusing much more on influencing the behaviour
of the guests than on anything directly within the control of the business.
The scope of the study and the results presented in this report are, therefore, based on a subset of the four
main subsectors in the profit sector of the hospitality industry (i.e. hotels, restaurants, pubs and QSRs),
excluding the leisure sector and those establishments that do not pay for their waste to be removed. This is
shown in figure 1 below.
Figure 1

1.4

Proportion of the hospitality industry establishments covered by the research

Report structure

Chapter 2 focuses on the studys methodology. It describes how a review of existing literature and a corporate
business survey were used to refine the scope and methodology of the project. The chapter then sets out the
methods employed to gather waste composition data and to derive UK estimates of the quantity and composition
of mixed waste.
Chapter 3 presents results, with estimates of the quantity and composition of mixed waste, opportunities for
increased recycling and business waste benchmarks.
Chapter 4 summarises the findings from the telephone survey, focusing on self-reported waste management
practices of surveyed businesses.
Chapter 5 considers some key methodological questions related to this research and sets out exactly what this
project has learned.
Chapter 6 draws together the key findings of this project and discusses the key issues and opportunities
highlighted by its findings.
There are a number of appendices which provide a greater level of detail on the methodology employed (e.g. the
literature review, the corporate waste survey, the waste audit sampling framework and the questionnaire used
during the telephone survey). The appendices also provide data from the compositional analysis of mixed waste
undertaken at the time of the waste audits and estimates for the composition of mixed waste in the UKs
constituent nations.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 12

2.0

Methodology

2.1

Overview

This section of the report details the methodology used in the project, which comprised eight stages undertaken
during 2009 and 2010.
1)

A literature review to assess the available information on waste production, waste composition and waste
management practices within the hospitality sector. This identified a number of gaps that could be
addressed by this project and so was used to refine the projects scope and the methodology used for data
gathering. See Section 2.2.

2)

Sampling of businesses for a telephone survey, involving quantifying the range of hospitality
businesses within the UK, subdividing these businesses into meaningful categories for sampling purposes
and developing a statistically valid sampling framework. See Section 2.4.

3)

A telephone survey, involving approaching businesses across the UK that matched the sampling criteria
and asking them to participate in a survey about their waste, plus recruitment of those surveyed for a
subsequent audit of their waste. Telephone surveys were also used to gather data on attitudes to waste
management and recycling, as well as on current waste management practices and the types of materials
recycled. See Section 2.4.

4)

Sampling of businesses for the waste audits, involving pragmatic compromises between maximising
the sample size and the financial and logistical constraints of the project. See Section 2.5.1-2 and Section
2.5.5.

5)

On-site waste audits, including an interview with the site manager, a visual inspection of the waste and
containers, and the collection of presented waste. See Section 2.5.3.

6)

Waste composition analysis, including sorting of waste into 37 material categories, with emphasis
placed on the composition of mixed waste. See Section 2.5.4 and Section 2.6.

7)

Production of UK and national waste estimates, involving the different sets of data being reviewed
and combined and then estimates being generated for the quantity and composition of mixed waste in the
UK hospitality sector. See Section 2.7.

In addition a corporate business survey was carried out to capture data from centrally run businesses with a
large number of premises/outlets (e.g. restaurant and pub chains); this is referred to in the remainder of the
report as corporate data. The purpose of the survey was to gather data from head offices rather than approach
many individual premises which were in any case unlikely to hold the data because arrangements were made by
head office on their behalf. However, this did not obtain any useful information; see Section 2.3.
The remainder of this chapter sets out in more detail the methods associated with each of these stages.

2.2

Literature review

The first stage of the project was a literature review to identify gaps and limitations in current knowledge that
could be addressed by this research. The literature review also helped to inform the methodologies used at later
stages of the project. The review included 136 items found in the public domain. Of these, only a handful of
studies provided detailed information on the composition of waste from the hospitality sector collated from
samples of 10 businesses or more.
The key themes arising from the literature research were as follows:

most of the literature concentrates on providing advice for hospitality businesses that are usually focused on
complying with regulations and/or minimising waste disposal costs;

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 13

19
20
21

22
23

24

25
26
27
28

many of the surveys that have been undertaken:


o
have only achieved acceptable response rates using telephone calls or personal visits to persuade
staff to complete questionnaires;19
o
do not provide reliable data about quantities of waste or its cost to the business, most relying on
estimating waste by asking businesses to assess the number of bins and how full they are:

Oakdene Hollins20 suggests such estimates may overstate the volume of waste generated as a
result of errors associated with converting reported volumes into weights; and

WRAP21 suggests that estimates of the weight of glass available for recycling from licensed
premises are likely to be overstated because respondents to self-completion surveys tend to
overestimate the amount of glass they produce;
o
focus on the activities of the profit sector partly because of the difficulties of analysing waste from
the cost sector where the catering organisation has little control over the final waste disposal options
see Huhtamaki 200722; and
o
do not provide detailed attitudinal data about wastes;
much of what has been written focuses on:
o
glass specifically;
o
food waste and the impact of specific technologies;23
o
the licensed retail trade or hotels, with almost no data available for catering outlets;21
o
the economics of changing waste collection procedures, with a focus on waste collection
organisations rather than hospitality businesses; and
o
businesses that have direct influence over their own waste management rather than those for whom
waste is managed by a third party;24
there is very limited information available on:
o
difficult-to-manage wastes (especially hazardous wastes) from the sector, with the exception of fats,
oils and greases;
o
wastes that are recycled or disposed of in ways other than a regularly collected bin, e.g. packaging
returned to manufacturers or waste disposed of via a macerator;
o
relevant decision-making points in businesses, e.g. many head office businesses have waste
recycling as a key priority, but few are able to actively enforce this throughout all units. There is
very little data that identifies why some units under the management of the same head office
implement waste management programmes and others do not; and
o
different approaches to waste within the sector mapped onto different types of recycling service
provision and different levels of fee-charging;
most of the compositional data available for the sector:
o
is developed from very small sample sizes;25 26
o
has been gathered using varying audit methodologies, e.g. auditing all waste or a sample of
waste;27 28
o
has rarely been correlated against key business performance criteria (e.g. occupancy for hotels,
number of meals served for restaurants etc.), with the exception of the reports generated for
benchmarking purposes by hospitality businesses; and
most of the data presented across the sector as a whole:
o
is based on very small samples, sometimes grossed up to represent the sector, using different
methodologies;

CESHI (2007) Glass collection from licensed retail sector WRAP: Banbury
Oakdene Hollins (2008) Mapping waste in the food industry Defra and the Food and Drink Federation: London
WRAP (2007) Glass collected from licensed premises: determination of how much glass is collected for recycling from
licensed premises WRAP: Banbury
Unpublished research undertaken by CESHI
Environmental Protection Division (2005) Wales public sector sustainable waste management guidance manual
www.wales.gov.uk [Accessed 24/01/09]
Envirowise case studies www.rocksiderecycling.co.uk/case_studies.asp
http://online.businesslink.gov.uk/Horizontal_Services_files/Envirowise_Strattons_case_study.pdf
CESHI (2004) Whats worth 9m and gets chucked in a large hole in the ground? CFES, Oxford Brookes University: Oxford
Caterer & Hotelkeeper (2007) Green Month special edition 3 October 2007 Surrey, RBI Publishing.
Environment Agency (2000) Commercial and industrial waste production survey 1998/9 (unpublished)
SLR Consulting (2007) Determination of the biodegradability of mixed industrial and commercial waste landfilled in Wales
http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/static/documents/Research/biodegwals_1913611.pdf

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 14

o
o

uses methodologies that gross up making no allowance for seasonal fluctuations/volume of trade;
and
is not representative of the range of different models of working that are implemented across the
sector (e.g. tenanted, managed, facilities management contract etc.).

These findings suggested that it was beneficial to collect data via both a telephone survey and site waste audits.
A telephone survey would ask businesses to report on their own waste production, management and policy,
whilst the site waste audits would actively quantify waste production and composition at individual business
premises.
Appendix I contains more information about the literature review.

2.3

Corporate survey

A small number of corporate brands dominate the hospitality sector. In many of these organisations, the head
office makes arrangements for waste collection on behalf of individual sites. The aim of this part of the project
was to capture waste management data from head offices, rather than approaching individual premises.
During project inception, it was hoped that corporate businesses (i.e. those with over 100 outlets) would provide
a mass of useful data that could be incorporated into the project. However, the different methods of recording
and storing data meant that the outputs from this part of the work could not be directly compared to the
datasets generated from other parts of the project.
The methodological lesson learnt from the corporate survey was that gathering data from large corporate
businesses is not a quick route to obtaining a large amount of analysable data. It would appear that a number of
corporate businesses do not collect waste data at all. When data is collected, a significant amount of time is
needed to work with the corporate sector not only to obtain data but also to standardise the data before any
analysis can be conducted. A fuller description of the corporate surveys methodology and findings is presented
in Appendix D.

2.4

Telephone survey

The telephone survey stage of the project consisted of four principal activities:
drawing up the sampling framework, i.e. deciding which criteria are important when selecting businesses to
sample;
deciding how many businesses to include in the sample for the survey;
selecting the individual businesses to be included; and
carrying out the survey to obtain a representative sample of businesses.

2.4.1 Drawing up the sampling framework


The sampling framework sets the parameters within which decisions are made on individual companies to
survey. The nature of the sampling framework is normally dictated by the kind of information that is to be
produced. In this case, one of the key sampling criteria was dictated in advance at least some samples had to
be in each of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland because (a) information was required by nation and
(b) all four nations had funded the work. In early project meetings, it was also agreed that information would be
required for each of the four subsectors hotels, restaurants, pubs and QSRs so this became a parameter
within the sampling framework too.
A key requirement was therefore up-to-date population counts for hotels, restaurants, pubs and QSRs across
England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The hospitality industry has a number of specialist data
providers and each of the datasets available has subtle differences. The database selected for the telephone
survey and waste audit parts of the project was Caterlyst (www.caterlyst.co.uk), for the following reasons:

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 15

it is the only industry-specific database that has been developed to cover the total population of all hospitality
service providers. The other industry databases that are available have been created to drive the circulations
of specific trade magazines and are therefore skewed by subsector and size;
it is used as a sales database by a number of leading food and equipment suppliers to the industry and the
header records are therefore being checked, validated and updated on a regular basis;
it contains approximately 325,000 records and could provide information on the four subsectors selected for
inclusion within this project;
the header records contain company name, address, telephone number and subsector data. In certain
subsectors it is also possible to append additional data to the record. i.e. number of bedrooms for a hotel.
and this data can help to inform data analysis; and
the subsectors can be related back to Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes if required, so that data
can be sense-checked against other national surveys.

A general count of businesses within the four subsectors was obtained from Caterlyst on 20 January 2009 to
specify the actual size of the total population. This was then refined on 5 February 2009 to ascertain the
numbers of outlets within each subsector and to exclude head offices, duplicate records, businesses that fell
outside of the sampling framework, and regional offices of groups. This resulted in 138,773 individual sites from
across the UK being included in the scope of the work.
One further parameter for the sampling framework was dictated by the logistics of the subsequent waste
auditing exercise a reasonable proportion of the selected businesses had to be within a 50-mile radius of the
sites where the waste was to be sorted (Belfast, Glasgow, London, Cardiff, Wrexham, Ormskirk and Barnsley).
This was in order to maximise the number of businesses that could be included within the fixed cost of the work.
One possible source of error was that these locations missed some of the very seasonal parts of the UK, e.g. the
Devon and Cornwall coast, so the study may have over-sampled businesses that operate all year or most of the
year.
Provision was made to supplement the sample with an additional 960 surveys, targeted to geographical areas
within which the site waste audits were to be conducted. This would ensure that the telephone survey provided a
sufficient number of businesses that could be searched to participate in the site waste audit within a reasonable
driving distance (50 miles) of the waste sorting depots. Figure 2 shows the location of the waste sorting sites
and the business recruitment areas.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 16

Figure 2

UK survey area showing the six waste sorting depots (Belfast, Glasgow, London, Cardiff, Wrexham,
Ormskirk and Barnsley) and business recruitment areas (50-mile radii)

The final parameters for the telephone sampling framework were therefore:
1.
2.
3.

nation (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland);


subsector (hotels, restaurants, pubs, QSRs); and
within or outside a 50-mile radius of a sort site.

2.4.2 Telephone survey sample sizes


For the telephone survey, it was agreed that the project team would attempt to obtain completed questionnaires
from at least 1% of all hospitality businesses. A further requirement was that a 20% response rate should be
achieved by the telephone survey. The desired completion rate, therefore, required at least 5% of all hospitality
business contacts to be called to deliver the required number of completed telephone survey questionnaires
(6938 calls based on the Caterlyst contact database of 138,773).
The sample was divided:

equally across the subsectors (hotels, pubs, QSRs and restaurants);


in direct proportion to the number of businesses in each country; and
on a geographically random basis for most of the samples but with 240 of the sampled businesses
(distributed equally across each subsector) being within a 50-mile radius of potential waste sorting depots to
ensure there were enough within the catchment area of each site to be used for sorting waste samples.

Table 3 summarises the sample framework. Businesses that fitted each of the cells in the sampling framework
were then selected at random.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 17

Hotels

Grand
total

Wales

77.4

1.07

14.23

7.3

100

Number of telephone calls allocated at random

1264

18

233

119

1634

60

60

60

60

240

% of all UK businesses belonging to this


subsector

84.3

2.06

7.11

6.53

100

Number of telephone calls allocated at random

1378

34

116

106

1634

60

60

60

60

240

84.25

2.21

8.42

5.12

100

1376

36

138

84

1634

60

60

60

60

240

85.96

1.92

7.91

4.21

100

1405

31

129

69

1634

60

60

60

60

240

% of all UK businesses belonging to this


subsector
Number of telephone calls allocated at random
Number of telephone calls allocated to
businesses within 50 miles of sorting depots
% of all UK businesses belonging to this
subsector
Restaurants

Scotland

% of all UK businesses belonging to this


subsector

Number of telephone calls allocated to


businesses within 50 miles of sorting depots

QSRs

Ireland

Parameter

Number of telephone calls allocated to


businesses within 50 miles of sorting depots

Pubs

Northern

Subsector

Sample framework for the telephone survey


England

Table 3

Number of telephone calls allocated at random


Number of telephone calls allocated to
businesses within 50 miles of sorting depots

2.4.3 Development of the telephone questionnaire


The questionnaire for the telephone survey was informed by the literature review and previous benchmarking
studies within the literature, such as that undertaken by the International Hotels Environment Initiative 29 (now
the International Tourism Partnership). In developing the first draft, the questionnaire was intended to be used
only to collate the following data:

the contact details for each organisation;


the subsector of the industry the business is drawn from;
operating periods for the business;
current waste disposal policies/technologies/practices;
the size (e.g. number of rooms, meals served per day) and characteristics of the business; and
the corporate affiliations of the business: a snowball technique was proposed in which businesses that are a
part of a corporate group or management company would be contacted to request data for the whole group.

It was agreed that the questionnaire would also be used to collect data on the approximate amounts of waste
produced (residual and recycling), potential drivers/barriers that influence the amount of waste produced, and
attitudes towards waste management. An initial draft of the questionnaire was piloted to test ease of use and
response rates. Further redrafts were then piloted, which improved response and completion rates. A copy of the
final questionnaire is presented in Appendix F.
The information in the questionnaire on container numbers, types, size and collection frequency was used to
estimate the approximate scale of the businesss waste production. This exercise was principally used as an input
to the sampling framework for the waste audits and not for generating estimates of waste for reporting. To this
end, the questionnaire survey used a simple container classification of:

29

International Hotels Environmental Initiative (1993) Environmental management for hotels: the industry guide to good
practice Butterworth-Heinemann: Oxford

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 18

two-wheeled bins;
four-wheeled bins;
sacks;
skips with compaction;
skips without compaction; and
other.

Assumptions about the typical size of each container were then applied to derive an estimate of waste
generation. In reality, of course, there are a range of different container capacities even within the same
container type. However, the sites audits confirmed that the majority of containers on-site were the typical size
(80l for a sack, 240l for a two-wheeled bin and 1100 litres for a four-wheeled bin), although skips varied more
widely. This suggests that the approach taken in this study was correct that telephone surveys alone would
result in lower confidence in estimates, but that these generic descriptions (which are easy for businesses to
recognise) are generally standard enough to be used as a proxy for waste generation.

2.4.4 Telephone survey bias


As with all surveys, the results will only be representative of the whole sector if non-response bias is low or
preferably non-existent. Non-response bias is introduced if the respondents are different in some way to the nonrespondents, e.g. if they recycle more or if they produce more waste. For the purposes of this research, we have
assumed that non-response bias is insignificant, but in reality we have no evidence to either support this or
refute it. It is likely that if there is any non-response bias, it is due to under-sampling larger waste producers
because the questionnaire is longer for businesses which produce more waste, leading to higher levels of noncompletion in larger businesses.
As with all telephone surveys, there may also be a degree of response bias. It is quite common for survey
respondents to overstate behaviours that are seen to be good (e.g. recycling) and understate behaviours that
are seen to be bad (e.g. pouring cooking oil down the drain). In this research we ensured that the interviewer
minimised this risk through their introduction to the survey, and we have compensated for this in part through
the site audit process, but we accept this bias may still be present.

2.4.5 Telephone survey completion rates


A questionnaire was considered to be complete once a respondent had confirmed that they currently pay for the
removal of their general waste. A total of 1659 questionnaires were recorded as fully completed. Businesses that
do not pay for their own waste to be disposed of were excluded from the study because it was felt that they
would produce such little waste that the effort to collect it would be disproportionate; 122 businesses exited the
survey for this reason. Thus a total of 1659 businesses paid for their waste to be disposed of either directly
(1587) or via their head office (72), were taken through the survey questions and had their responses included in
the final data.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 19

QSRs

Restaurants

Totals

1,924

1,947

1,747

3,663

9,281

100

352

481

312

514

1,659

18

71

28

11

12

122

Refused to answer

408

316

435

694

1,853

20

No reply

376

411

501

1,415

2,703

29

Call back required

482

221

185

407

1,295

14

Number not recognised

Responses

Calls made
Completed responses (businesses paying for waste
disposal)
Completed responses (businesses not paying/dont know
whether paying for waste disposal)

Pubs

Call outcomes for the telephone survey of 9281 businesses

Hotels

Table 4

152

312

148

376

988

11

Business has moved

16

18

21

32

87

Unsound other

67

160

134

213

574

The completion rate for the survey was 18%, which is approximately what would be expected for a survey of this
kind. Response rates were better in the pub sector (25%) and lower in the restaurant sector (14%). This is likely
to relate partly to reclassification of businesses from restaurants to pubs during the quality assurance process.30
The distribution of the responses across the nations of the UK is shown in Table 3. The responses achieved
largely reflected the population of businesses in each of the four subsectors and UK countries.
Statistical advice was sought from the Statistical Services Centre (SSC) at Reading University regarding the
number of completed questionnaires required per sector and country. It was considered that the achieved
responses were sufficiently close to the targets set in the sampling framework and that no further telephone
questionnaires were required.
Table 5

Coverage of survey responses by nation and subsector

Subsector

England
Sample*

Hotels

Population**
% coverage
Sample

Pubs

Population
% coverage
Sample

QSRs

Population
% coverage
Sample

Restaurants

Population
% coverage
Sample

Total

Population
% coverage

Scotland

Wales

Northern
Ireland

Total

256

61

32

352

18,506

3,700

1,667

503

24,376

1.6

1.6

1.9

0.6

1.4

399

37

36

481

35,432

3,037

2,529

1,313

42,311

1.1

1.2

1.4

0.7

1.1

251

30

23

312

38,476

3,906

2,229

1,344

45,955

0.7

0.8

1.0

0.6

0.7

430

47

23

14

514

22,278

2,151

1,078

624

26,131

1.9

2.2

2.1

2.2

2.0

1336

175

114

34

1,659

114,692

12,794

7,503

3,784

138,773

1.2

1.4

1.5

0.9

1.2

* Completed questionnaires ** From the Caterlyst database

30

A number of pub businesses had stated that they were restaurants in response to the questionnaire survey. However,
further investigation demonstrated that they were pubs with a substantial catering function, i.e. they provided a drinks-only
service as well as food.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 20

2.5

Waste audit methodology

The waste audit stage of the project consisted of the following activities:

development of a sampling framework based on the telephone survey;


the on-site audit which included an interview, visual inspection and collection of waste; and
off-site sorting and analysis of waste.

2.5.1 Waste audit sampling framework


The telephone questionnaire was used as a basis from which to select the businesses to participate in the on-site
waste audits. Rather than selecting businesses at random, a waste audit sampling framework was developed in
an attempt to align the sampled businesses as closely as possible with the structure of the UK population of
hospitality businesses.
Categories of waste production were developed for each subsector by analysing the results of the telephone
survey to calculate the estimated amounts of waste produced (low, medium or high). This was achieved by
taking the respondents answers to how many containers they have on-site, multiplying by the size of the
container and by how many times it is collected, and assuming it is always 100% full when collected. CESHIs
expert knowledge was then applied to assess what range of amounts could be described as low, medium and
high, as shown in Table 4 below.
Table 6

Businesses falling into each category of waste production

Likely range based on


expert knowledge
(litres per week)

Number of
observations from
survey falling within
each category

Waste
production
category

Hotels

Restaurants

Pubs

QSRs

Low

1,100

1,200

960

920

Medium

>1,100 and 6,600

>1,200 and 12,000

High

>6,600

>12,000

Low

54

164

28

42

204

379

269

208

Medium
High
Overall

>960 and 3,600


>3,600

>920 and 6,000


>6,000

66

64

61

53

324

607

358

303

Relationships between estimates of waste production and a series of business characteristics were analysed by
the project team. Following this analysis, the variables considered to be the best indicators of waste production
were identified as:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

number of rooms (for hotels);


whether part of a group (for hotels, restaurants and QSRs);
whether managed or not (for pubs);
number of meals served per day (for hotels and pubs);
volume of business (for restaurants and QSRs);
whether takeaway or eat-in (for QSRs); and
whether the business recycles (for restaurants).

The total number of waste audits was dictated by resource constraints and based on some assumptions about
how long it would take to audit the sites, how much waste would be expected and how long it would take to
collect and sort it. At the outset of the research, approximately 90 audits were envisaged. Later, the Yorkshire
and Humber Assembly and the Welsh and Scottish governments provided additional funding that helped increase
the number of audits across the UK; approximately 40 additional sampling points were added as a result. Table 7
shows the final waste audit sampling framework.
In some cases, there are quite small samples (at an extreme, for example, only one audit was conducted for
high waste-producing pubs); in these cases we have had to assume that the sampled companies represent

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 21

others in the same category but that assumption is obviously problematic hence we have suggested that the
data from the study is regarded only as indicative. As set out above, the final number of audits achieved was
limited by the available resources, timescales and the information gathered during the waste audits, which was
not always adequate to include in the final data. This was despite using a recruitment and scheduling process
that aimed to maximise the number of audits achieved and is a key lesson learnt from the project.
Table 7

Subsector

Hotels

The sampling framework for the on-site waste audits carried out across the UK during 2009
(subtotals may not add up to 100% due to rounding)
Estimated
level of
waste

0-10 rooms

Low

119

37%

12

34%

11-50 rooms

Medium

135

42%

14

40%

>50 rooms

High

65

20%

26%

319

100%

35

100%

Subtotal

Pubs

Number of
waste
audits

Sample
distribution

Low

88

46%

16

55%

Managed & 50 meals/day

Low/medium

26

14%

14%

Not managed & >50 meals/day

Medium

46

24%

28%

Managed & >50 meals/day

High

30

16%

3%

190

100%

29

100%

Either takeaway OR not part of a group

Low

184

70%

10

31%

Not takeaway AND part of a group

High

78

30%

22

69%

262

100%

32

100%

Subtotal

Restaurants

Estimated
population
distribution

Not managed & 50 meals/day

Subtotal
QSR

Number
identified
in the
survey

Waste production factor

Not part of a group

Low

300

52%

26

62%

Belong to a group & recycle

Medium

184

32%

12

29%

Belong to a group & dont recycle

High

89

16%

9%

573

100%

42

100%

Subtotal
Total

1,344

138

2.5.2 Securing sufficient samples and potential bias


An essential part of the waste audit scheduling process was obtaining informed consent. During the initial
telephone survey, 298 respondents had confirmed they would be willing to participate in a waste audit. Of these,
60 fell within the relevant postcode areas (i.e. within a 50-mile radius of a waste sorting depot) but seven of
them had not provided sufficient data to enable the audit to take place. That meant more businesses had to be
recruited. However, it was critical to keep the sample as random as possible and not specifically target particular
types of business. To overcome this challenge, a second round of telephone interviews was carried out, targeting
all businesses that had completed the questionnaire but initially declined to participate in the audits, asking them
to reconsider. This approach proved successful and further businesses were recruited. The failure of the initial
approach is believed to have been due in part to the fact that the audit methodology was still under
development, so telephone interviewers were unable to reassure companies effectively about potential disruption
and confidentiality concerns.
It is recognised that sampling businesses from the subset of telephone survey respondents that agreed to
participate in waste audits may have led to a degree of bias. For example, those with a greater interest in waste
management and/or participation in recycling may be more inclined to take part in waste audits. This is a
common methodological challenge in this type of study. This was unavoidable in order to avoid bringing the
project partners into disrepute; informed consent to have their waste removed for analysis was obtained from
every businesses.
Because the location of the businesses had to be within reasonable driving distance of the sorting sites, and the
sorting sites were all in urban areas, there were initial concerns that sampling just from a city centre location

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 22

may bias the data collected. To test whether these concerns were justified, Geographic Information System
(GIS) mapping was carried out that suggested a diverse range of urban and rural businesses could be captured.
A detailed example of such a map is provided in Appendix C. Although the intention was to select businesses
within a 50-mile radius of a waste sorting depot, in some cases there was insufficient representation of the
required business subsectors within this radius and some samples had to be taken from a wider radius. For
example, in Cardiff, samples were collected from Gloucestershire, the South Midlands and South West Wales in
addition to Cardiff itself. Therefore samples were taken from a wide geographical spread of businesses across
the UK from both urban and rural locations.

2.5.3 The on-site waste audit process31


The on-site audits commenced in March 2009 and consisted of three distinct elements:

a pre-arranged interview with the site manager about waste production;


a visual inspection of the waste and on-site containers; and
collection of the waste for analysis off-site.

2.5.3.1

The interview

On arrival at site the most appropriate staff member (or point of contact from the telephone survey) was
identified. The interviewer asked to be taken to the area of the site where waste was kept prior to removal. A
brief interview was then conducted to determine when each of the waste types was last collected and whether
the waste available was typical of an average week. The auditor also asked for information on the number of
meals served per day and asked for permission to remove the waste for analysis.
Even though the focus of the study was on mixed waste, information was also collected about bulky waste.
However, in every case where bulky waste was found, the interviewee stated that it was generated on an ad-hoc
basis and found it impossible to quantify the amount. Within larger establishments the bulky waste tended to be
generated as part of a refurbishment programme or as a result of the breakdown in a specific piece of
equipment, but this would not take place at regular intervals. Hotels under corporate ownership generally
undergo a major refurbishment every 7-12 years with more minor work being completed on an ad-hoc basis,
with contractors managing the waste. Because in most cases there was no physical waste to sample and little
knowledge on the part of the site manager about what waste was generated at the last refurbishment, bulky
waste had to be excluded from this research.

2.5.3.2

The visual inspection

The remainder of the time on-site consisted of a visual inspection of the waste. The information was recorded in
a table provided to the waste auditor and included:

waste type (e.g. residual waste, recycling (mixed glass), co-mingled recyclables);
container type (e.g. wheeled bin, drum, sack, loose);
volume of container;
estimates of how full the container was at point of collection (%);
number of days worth of waste presented in the container; and
whether all, a sub-sample (specifying the amount) or none of the waste was collected for compositional
analysis.

Using this data, information could be calculated on the levels of waste generation at each business in terms of
litres per day and kg per day. For oils and special and hazardous waste material, a note was made on the
number and size of containers. For health and safety reasons, these materials were not handled.

31

In some parts of this chapter, we refer to 139 site audits and in others to 138 site audits. This is because although 139 site
audits were carried out, the data from one had to be removed from the analysis because it was abnormal and deemed an
outlier. Although this premises data is not relevant to the project, the methodological lessons learnt whilst visiting it are
relevant, so sometimes it will be appropriate to refer to 139 audits and sometimes to 138.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 23

Table 8 shows the number of different types of waste containment observed and sampled at the 138 businesses
visited during the site audit. Throughout the waste audits, emphasis was placed on collecting as much residual
waste as possible.
Number of each waste stream observed and sampled at the 138 audited premises

Brown glass recycling

Sampled

Observed

Total

Sampled

Observed

Restaurants
Sampled

Observed

QSRs
Sampled

Waste type

Pubs
Sampled

Observed

Hotels

Observed

Table 8

15

11

38

26

Clear glass recycling

Co-mingled recycling

23

19

Food recycling

10

Green glass recycling

Metal recycling

25

14

16

16

61

29

Card recycling

Mixed glass recycling


Mixed plastic recycling

30

18

17

31

96

Paper & card recycling

10

Paper recycling

Oil recycling

Mixed (residual) waste


Total

35

35

29

29

32

32

42

40

138

136

134

81

80

49

82

55

117

60

413

245

This is clearly a snapshot of waste from each business, and the project could not take account of seasonal
differences in waste set out for disposal which may be important for some sub-sectors. The data presented in
this report should therefore be regarded as indicative of the waste sent to disposal by the sector rather than
definitive.

2.5.3.3

Collection of waste

Early in the project, a key task was to consider the best approach to collect and sort waste from businesses
within the hospitality sector on a national scale. Two approaches were considered:

sorting on location at the targeted premises; and


a central sorting approach where waste would be collected and brought to a central location.

A review of the relative merits of each approach was undertaken and the central sort approach was adopted.
This was because, during the first few pilot audits, it became immediately apparent that sorting waste on-site at
the business was going to be impossible due to a lack of space, public perception and issues surrounding health
and safety. Whilst it was recognised that taking waste off-site for analysis could result in a smaller weight of
samples being collected at each business due to limited space on the collection vehicle, the sorting on location
approach was simply out of the question.
On-site, the waste had to be emptied into another container to be removed from site. This was because, when
recruiting businesses, it became clear that companies had concerns about their businesss waste containers being
removed from the property.
Where practicably possible, all waste available for collection was collected, including co-mingled waste destined
for recycling. Where this was not possible, a sub-sample was taken from the container trying to ensure that as
representative a sample as possible was taken. This was then transferred to one of the seven central waste
sorting depots. In some cases there was no material to collect. The priority throughout the project was to ensure

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 24

that, as a minimum, the mixed residual waste was collected since this was the focus of the research. The waste
from the businesses was hand-loaded into separate containers and coded with the date, a unique business code
and the waste type. The waste was collected and transported in one of two 3.5-tonne Luton vans to the central
sorting facility. Waste from up to six businesses each day was collected.
Table 9 shows the amount of material sampled as a proportion of the total volume of material presented for
collection at the time of the waste audit. The volume of material sampled was measured from how full containers
of material were before and after a sample had been taken. Out of a total of 413 instances of a material being
presented for collection by the 138 businesses audited, 168 instances were not sampled. A very large proportion
of residual waste samples collected represented 100% of the volume of waste presented (118 samples out of
138). Waste kitchen oil was not collected as it was assumed to be 100% kitchen oil (in practice there would have
been some contamination, but this is thought to be minimal).
Table 9

Number of samples by waste stream grouped by % of available material that was sampled

Material type sampled

% of material presented that was sampled


None
collected

Food recycling

0% to
<20%

20% to
<40%

40% to
<60%

60% to
<80%

80% to
<100%

All
collected

Total

10

Paper & card recycling

17

30

54

Glass recycling

41

31

77

Metal recycling

Plastic recycling

Oil recycling

96

96

Co-mingled recycling

17

23

Residual waste

118

138

168

11

10

212

413

Total

One key source of error associated with this aspect of the study is the uncertainty about what proportion of a
weeks waste was collected. This was because businesses varied considerably as to when their waste was
collected: in central London, for example, waste is collected all through the night, whilst in more rural settings or
for smaller businesses it might be collected once a week. Although respondents were asked when their waste is
normally collected, this information proved unreliable. As a result, it was not possible to generalise about the
best time to arrive for the audit in order to yield the maximum amount of waste; sometimes teams would arrive
and there would be no waste to collect. No analysis was done on whether day of the week on which the waste
was collected affected the results and we were unable to check the sensitivity of the approach to calculating a
weeks worth of waste on the resulting data.

2.5.3.4

Logistical constraints and their effect on-site audit data

Participating businesses were allocated a collection time within a one week collection slot in each of the seven
areas. This was dictated by the limited time available at each of the central sorting sites. Whilst it was important
that as much waste as possible was collected from each business, this had to be balanced against a range of
other criteria. For example:
all recruited businesses had to be sampled within the one-week programme due to the resources available to
the project (e.g. sorting site availability) and the timescale of the research;
the maximum amount of time had to be left between when the waste was last collected and when the
sample was collected (i.e. to generate the maximum number of days worth of waste). Only one visit per
business could be made, so where recycling and mixed waste were collected on different days the priority
had to be the mixed waste;
due to the wide geographical spread, waste from businesses in close proximity to each other was collected
together in order to minimise travel time; and
only three or four premises could be scheduled for the same collection due to the limited payload of the
collection vehicle. Waste could not be compacted as it had to be hand-sorted later.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 25

Because it was not possible to prioritise all criteria, compromises were made on the number and weight of
samples collected.
Additional vehicles and sampling crews were allocated to the project to help increase the overall weight of
material collected, in an attempt to mitigate some of the issues raised during the early audits. Despite these
efforts, two issues influenced the quality of the data collected.
1.

Some samples only represented between one and three days worth of waste. This was a result of
scheduling constraints or incorrect information being provided by the business about collection days/times
during the on-site interview. Although this factor was corrected for when scaling up, some types of waste
could have been missed if they are only generated on specific days of the week.

2.

As the sample of businesses was selected at random using the sampling framework, there were occasions
where only a small amount of waste was produced, particularly by small or remote businesses. Although it is
correct that these businesses were included, it does mean that a smaller amount of waste has been
analysed, increasing sample errors.

2.5.4 Off-site sorting and analysis of waste


On arrival at the waste sorting facility, each waste stream (i.e. residual waste, organic waste and recyclable
waste) from each business was emptied onto the floor, weighed and then placed onto a 10mm sorting screen for
hand-sorting. Each waste stream from each business was processed separately. The material was hand-sorted by
a team of around five people into the 37 categories listed in Table 10. Once sorted, the weight of each waste
material was recorded and it was then disposed of or recycled as appropriate. The waste was not returned to the
participating business.
Apart from kitchen waste, the waste sorting categories shown in Table 8 are standard material categories used in
other sort and weigh waste composition projects. This approach means that the results can be readily compared
and could also be easily recoded into the Substance Oriented Category (SOC) list and European Waste Catalogue
(EWC) list if required.32
During waste category development, two factors were identified by WRAP as important for the classification of
food waste whether the waste was avoidable/unavoidable and whether the waste was in packaging or loose in
the waste container (packaged/non-packaged). The use of these categories will provide an indication of the
opportunities for both the prevention of avoidable food waste and the level of pre-treatment required to remove
packaging prior to processing in composting/digestion facilities. Food/kitchen waste was separated into one of
the four following categories:
packaged avoidable kitchen waste: food waste which could be avoided and was contained inside packaging,
e.g. a packet of frozen beef burgers, a packet of frozen peas and a bag of whole potatoes;
packaged unavoidable kitchen waste: food waste which could not be avoided and was contained inside
packaging, e.g. an apple core put into some empty packaging for disposal (in practice, this classifier was very
unlikely to occur and is not recommended for future studies);
non-packaged avoidable: food waste which could be avoided and was not contained inside any packaging,
e.g. food scrapings from a half-finished meal or a half-eaten pizza; and
non-packaged unavoidable: food waste which could not be avoided and not contained inside any packaging,
e.g. a banana skin or melon rind.

Waste disposed to sewer was not included in the study.

32

Both of these are waste classification systems used in the EU. The UK has to report data to the European Commission based
on these categories, so it is important that information is available in this format if required.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 26

Table 10

Waste categories used for compositional analysis

Primary category

Secondary category

Paper

Card

Dense plastic

Plastic film

Textiles

1.1

Newspaper, magazines, catalogues & other recyclable paper

1.2

Paper packaging

1.3

Non-recyclable paper

2.1

Liquid cartons

2.2

Board packaging

2.3

Card packaging

2.4

Other card

3.1

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles

3.2

High-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic bottles

3.3

Other plastic bottles

3.4

Other dense plastic packaging

3.5

Other dense plastic

4.1

Plastic film

4.2

Carrier bags

5.1

All textiles

6.1

Green glass bottles and jars

6.2

Clear glass bottles and jars

6.4

Brown glass bottles and jars

Glass

6.3

Other glass

Miscellaneous combustibles

7.1

All miscellaneous combustibles

Miscellaneous non-combustibles

8.1

All miscellaneous non-combustibles

9.1

Ferrous food and beverage cans

9.2

Ferrous aerosol

9.3

Other ferrous metal

10.1

Non-ferrous food and beverage cans

10.2

Foil

10.3

Non-ferrous aerosol

10.4

Other non-ferrous metal

10

Ferrous metal

Non-ferrous metal

11

Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE)

11.1

All WEEE

12

Hazardous waste, batteries and clinical waste

12.1

All hazardous waste, batteries and clinical waste

13

Garden waste

13.1

All garden waste

14.1

Packaged avoidable

14.2

Packaged unavoidable

14.3

Non-packaged avoidable

14

Kitchen (food) waste

14.4

Non-packaged unavoidable

15

Fines

15.1

Fines (<10mm)

16

Liquids

16.1

Liquids (including oil)

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 27

For all the waste categories listed in Table 10, standard waste-sorting practices and quality control procedures
were employed. For example:

waste materials were separated into their material parts, e.g. an empty cereal box would be separated into
plastic film and card packaging;
where two materials were inseparable (or composite), the item was allocated to the material category
contributing the main weight (the exception to this rule was packaged food waste which was always classified
as kitchen waste);
liquids in containers were separated and weighed separately, e.g. where a full bottle of cola was identified,
the liquid was emptied into a separate container and weighed separately from the plastic bottle;
materials which could not be clearly allocated into an appropriate material category, or were unidentifiable by
material type, were categorised based on whether or not the majority of the material would combust and
were allocated to either the miscellaneous combustible or the miscellaneous non-combustible category;
material falling through the 10mm screen was classified as fines whilst material was passed over and sorted
on top of the screen, no material was forced through the screen holes or passed over the screen indefinitely
until the material fell through;
prior to weighing each sorted material category, the contents of the container were checked by the site
supervisor and any incorrectly sorted material was removed and placed into an appropriate container;
when weighing each sorting container, the container including the contents was weighed, the contents were
removed and then the container without the contents was weighed again to provide an accurate sample
weight; and
the weighing scales were regularly checked with a known weight to ensure consistency in the weights
displayed.

2.5.5 Final sampling for waste audits


Figure 3 shows the location of the 139 businesses that were visited during the waste audits and Table 11 shows
the number of businesses sampled, by subsector and UK nation.

Figure 3

Final waste audit business locations

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 28

Table 11
Subsector

Final number of businesses sampled during the waste audit exercise


England

Scotland

Wales

N. Ireland

Total

Hotels

19

35

Pubs

21

29

QSRs

14

32

Restaurants

24

42

Total

78

21

23

16

138

Whilst there is an underlying assumption that the country location itself should not be a sampling criterion, i.e. a
pub in England with a similar business profile to one in Wales will have the same waste generation
characteristics, a reasonable cross-section of premises is included in the sample. Table 12 shows the weight of all
material hand-sorted from each sampled waste type. Given the budget and logistical constraints highlighted
previously (e.g. see Section 2.5.3.4), emphasis was placed on collecting as much residual waste as possible.
Waste consisting of a single material was recorded but not taken for sorting (e.g. cooking oil).
Table 12

Total weight (kg) of samples collected and hand-sorted

Material
Brown glass

Hotels

Pubs

QSRs

Restaurants

Total

24

29

60

24

127

36

247

Clear glass

13

119

141

Co-mingled

150

64

28

25

267

Food

63

63

Green glass

12

112

124

Card

Metal

12

15

28

Mixed glass

628

141

17

398

1184

Mixed plastic

28

12

44

Paper & card

250

81

332

3,031

2,471

2,193

4,211

11,906

4,261

2,957

2,465

4,691

14,374

Paper
Mixed waste for disposal
Total

2.6

Calculating the composition of mixed waste

This section describes the calculations that were made to generate estimates of the amount of waste produced
by each sampled business per year and overall.
Table 8 above has summarised the number of recycling samples achieved by the end of the project, whilst the
logistical constraints of waste collection have been described in Section 2.5.3.4. Given the emphasis of the
research on the mixed waste stream going for disposal, a relatively small number of samples were taken of
waste set out for recycling, so the decision was taken not to use recycling data from the waste audits in any
subsequent calculations. Future studies should consider whether it is worth collecting any recycling samples if
data on total amounts exists, as in this case.
From the compositional analysis work described in Section 2.5.4, an estimate was derived of the proportion of
the mixed waste accounted for by each waste material. Appendix B provides summary figures from this dataset
(e.g. mean and standard deviation); these are based on the observed composition of mixed waste measured at
each business. The data shown in Appendix B is not normalised to variables that will affect the quantity of waste
produced, e.g. number of days trading each year and how many days worth of waste the sample represented. A
number of steps were required to normalise this data into an annual estimate of the total amount of mixed waste
by material component. The following section describes the calculations required to do this, together with a

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 29

worked example. The likely sources of error introduced with these calculation steps are also highlighted. The end
product of these calculations is a typical composition of mixed waste for each subsector.

2.6.1 Estimating the total quantity of mixed waste each year


During the waste audit, information originally collected in the survey was confirmed, i.e. the number of waste
containers at the premises and their capacity. In addition, information was collected on how full they were on the
day of the audit and the number of days worth of waste they contained on the day of collection. In cases where
it was logistically impossible to take away all of the waste available, the approximate volume of the sample was
recorded at the site.
Each sample of mixed waste taken away for analysis was weighed in its entirety at the sort site to establish its
weight accurately. Where some of the waste available was not sampled (see Table 9 on page 25), a bulk density
factor was applied to the estimated volume of the uncollected waste. These bulk density factors were calculated
from the sample that was taken away by dividing the known weight by the estimated volume to obtain kg per
litre. This factor was then applied to the unsampled waste. Appendix E provides the average bulk densities for
mixed waste and Section 5.5 compares these figures with those generated from previous studies.
This approach enabled an estimate to be made of the weight of mixed waste produced per day on each sampled
premises. During the telephone survey, businesses were asked how many days a year they typically trade. This
was then applied to the weight per day for each waste stream to estimate weight generated per year. A worked
example of the calculation steps is shown in Table 13 below.
Table 13

Calculating weight per year for a sample of mixed (residual) waste from one premises worked
example

Stage in the calculation

Result

Source of information

a. Container type

Continental

Site audit visual inspection

b. Container capacity

1280l

Site audit visual inspection

c.

Site audit visual inspection

Number of containers

Container 1 90%
d. Fullness

Container 2 80%

Site audit visual inspection

Container 3 20%
e. Total waste on-site on day of audit

2432l

(90% of 1280l= 1152) + (80% of 1280l = 1024) + (20% of 1280l


= 256)

f.

Site audit interview

g. Volume of waste sampled

2000l

Recorded during waste collection where not all of the waste could
be taken for logistical reasons

h. Weight of sample taken

190kg

Recorded on delivery to sort site

i.

Bulk density (kg per litre)

0.095kg per litre

hg

j.

Weight per day sampled waste

95kg

hf

k.

Weight per day unsampled waste

20.52kg

l.

Weight per day total waste

115.52kg

j+k

m. Number of days trading per year

342

From telephone survey

n. Total weight of waste per year

39,508kg or 39.5 tonnes

l. x m. 1000 for tonnes

Number of days worth of waste

(e g) x i 2

(2432 2000) x 0.095 2

There are several likely sources of error associated with this approach.
1.

The sample of waste collected for waste composition analysis is unlikely to have been representative of the
waste produced over the whole course of the year. Resource constraints meant that this research could not
address seasonal, week-on-week or day-by-day variations in waste production.

2.

It assumes that all types of waste produced over the course of a year were available on the day of the site
audit. Feedback on bulky waste has suggested this is not the case and common sense would indicate that

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 30

this will be the same with other one-off waste streams or wastes generated as a result of unusual events.
Again, resource constraints did not permit return visits and previous disappointing experiences with asking
for this kind of information in questionnaires meant that we deliberately did not cover this in the telephone
survey.
3.

Although applying the bulk density factor derived from the sampled waste to the unsampled waste in any
particular company is probably robust, there is evidence from the study that bulk densities varied quite
significantly between apparently similar establishments.

4.

The calculation above relies on a visual estimate of how full a bin was. Whilst a full container should be
relatively consistent, estimates of less than 100% are subject to variations in judgement.

5.

Where information was missing on the number of days trading each year, 365 days was assumed. This
assumption was applied in 13 of the 138 audited businesses. This is expected to be a relatively small
overestimate as just over 70% of audited businesses reported more than 350 days trading per year.

6.

Number of days trading per year was calculated from two questions in the telephone survey how many
days a week the establishment trades and how many weeks per year it trades, divided into five bands each
of ten weeks (0-9, 10-19, 20-29 etc.) and one band of 49+. The midpoint of each band was taken and
multiplied by the number of days per week. This introduced a degree of inaccuracy but it is not thought to
be significant.

7.

The research has not accounted for different business opening hours; this was not asked about in the
questionnaire nor during the site audit, so we have had to assume that all businesses within each subsector
are open for the same number of hours each year.

8.

It proved very difficult to get an accurate measure of the number of days worth of waste in the container.
In large hotels, for example, waste arises in different departments at different times and is brought to the
containers at different times, with the result that no one person in the organisation has a clear knowledge of
timescales. This was also different for different waste streams because they were often collected on
different days. All days worth of waste figures have been rounded up for consistency; e.g. if the audit took
place on a Friday at 10.00 and the normal collection was on a Monday at 16.00, this would be counted as
four days worth of waste.

2.6.2 Calculating the overall composition of mixed waste for each subsector
After estimating the total amount of mixed waste produced by an individual business each year, the next step
was to translate individual business data into a typical composition of mixed waste for each subsector. This was
required for estimates of UK mixed waste composition (see Section 2.7). The weight of individual material
components of the mixed waste was firstly summed across each subsector (e.g. the quantity of ferrous metal
cans from hotel 1s mixed waste was added to that appearing in the mixed waste in hotel 2, 3, 4 and so on). This
calculation was repeated for each material type. The percentage that each material makes up of the total mixed
waste in each subsector was calculated by dividing the total for each material by the total for the subsector as a
whole. Because these estimates are based on the annualised data for each business, they are subject to the
same sources of error highlighted in Section 2.6.1 above. Confidence intervals have been calculated for this data
and are included in Annex B. It should be borne in mind that these intervals reflect sampling error and not the
other types of error described above.

2.7

Generating UK estimates of mixed waste quantity and composition

One of the principal objectives of the research was to produce reliable estimates of the waste arising from the
UK hospitality sector. The waste audit work described in Section 2.5 resulted in 138 snapshot observations of the
composition of mixed waste across four subsectors across the UK. This is a relatively small number of samples
but it was all that was affordable within the timescale. Throughout the research it was accepted that it would be
difficult to generate reliable national estimates of waste production based on this size of sample, but that the
samples would provide usable information on waste composition in combination with national data from much
larger sampling programmes on the amount of each type of waste generated.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 31

The original intention was to take published data on the amount of mixed waste produced by the hospitality
sector in each of the four countries of the UK and apply typical composition figures from this research to it. This
approach proved over-simplistic because:

not all of the nations could provide data in suitable form;


each nations definition of the hospitality sector and of mixed waste was slightly different; and
the quality and timeliness of the surveys varied.

This section describes how UK estimates for the composition of mixed waste were calculated using a combination
of the waste audit data (see Section 2.5), existing industrial and commercial waste datasets, and ONS population
numbers for the hospitality subsectors of interest. Figure 4 summarises the datasets used and a more detailed
description of each calculation step is given in the following sections.
Figure 4

Summary of the datasets used to estimate UK hospitality mixed waste composition (hotels are used
as an example of one of the four sub-sectors in the research)

2.7.1 The total amount of mixed waste the choice of the Defra dataset
A number of large-scale surveys have been undertaken in the UK to provide estimates of industrial and
commercial waste. The most recent surveys are set out in Table 14. The data from the most recent Defra survey
was selected as the most appropriate to be used in this research.
National and regional surveys of industrial and commercial waste tend to follow similar methodologies. The
sampling framework is generally based on industry type (SIC) and employee numbers to generate a matrix of all
the relevant business sites. This data is typically obtained from the ONS, although alternatives such as the Yellow
Pages Business Database have also been used. A random sample is then taken within each stratum of the
matrix. The level of required statistical accuracy is sometimes set out in advance and the number of samples
determined to meet this requirement. For other surveys, sample size is dictated by available resources. To
calculate overall estimates, average waste per business is calculated for each cell in the matrix. This is then
multiplied by the total number of businesses within that cell. All the cells are then summed to produce an
estimate of total arisings and outliers are added to the total. For empty cells (i.e. no business sampled), average
data from neighbouring cells is commonly used. Where a survey has made an assessment of mixed waste

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 32

composition, normally through asking the respondent to estimate a typical composition, proportions are also
taken from the sample for each cell and applied to the estimated cell total.
Surveys can be undertaken by telephone, post or, more recently, by email or using the Internet. The preference
is for site visits where the surveyor will meet with the business person responsible for waste management, but
not all funders have been able to meet the costs of doing so and as a result have had to rely on postal or
telephone surveying. For surveys based on-site visits, estimates of annual waste arisings are based on company
records or a visual survey of the containers. The degree of accuracy reported for the surveys assumes that any
variation of the estimate from the true figure is due only to sample size and that each survey response is an
accurate assessment of annual arisings.
Table 14

Country

Summary of the four national industrial and commercial waste datasets that were candidates for
use in this research
Funder

Date

Notes on methodology

2002/03

Of smaller sample size than the previous 1998 /99 national industrial and
commercial waste survey (and therefore suffered from broader limits in
terms of data confidence ), but used a robust and statistically valid
sampling strategy based on the 1998/99 survey, which has been used in
other more recent surveys. Generated from face to-face surveys of
companies selected from a developed sample frame. The most dated of
all the surveys.

Defra

2010

Used a similar sampling strategy to the 2002/03 survey but a wider


variety of data sources, with just over half of the data records coming
from face-to-face interviews and the rest from a mixture of telephone
interviews, corporate data and Pollution Prevention Control (PPC) data.
The data collected was combined with that gathered from a separate
survey for the North West region. No 0-4 employee size-band businesses
were surveyed. They were estimated using the 0 -4:5-9 ratio from the
2002/03 survey which was then applied to the 5 -9 size-band 2010
estimates. This is the most up-to-date dataset in the UK.

Scotland

Scottish
Government via
the Scottish
Environment
Protection Agency
(SEPA)

2006

Postal and internet survey with telephone chase-up, with a response


rate of 16.9%. Companies with more than 50 staff were mailed.

Wales

Welsh Assembly
Government via
Environment
Agency Wales

2007

Sampling strategy based on a developed sample frame with pre -defined


confidence limits in the data obtained and grossed up. Predominantly
face to face survey of 1500 companies.

Northern
Ireland

Northern Ireland
Department of the
Environment

2004/05

Postal and electronic survey with a 17% response rate. Some face-toface visits to larger companies. Companies of 10 employees or less were
not surveyed.

Defra via the


Environment
Agency

England

Data for the hospitality subsectors of interest from each of the four UK national datasets was requested from the
respective funders. Specifically, the data required was individual, anonymised business survey returns crossreferenced with employee size-bands and the specific hospitality SIC subcode. Employee data was captured as
part of the waste audit process and this allowed application of the waste composition data to the sample
frameworks used in the national datasets. This data could then be placed into current estimates of hospitality
sector population figures (e.g. the number of hotels of a given size in Scotland) and then scaled up.
The following is a summary of what was provided and how it was subsequently used.

England
(1) As the most up-to-date, the Defra 2010 survey was the most appropriate to use. The data for businesses
within Hotels and Catering was used but subsectors such as campsites which were not covered by this
research were removed leaving a sample of 249 businesses. Like all the datasets considered, this still left
some of the size-bands for some of the subsectors unrepresented. The data was obtained from Defra. As
mentioned, the Defra 2010 survey omitted the 0-4 size-band. An estimate was provided using the Defra 2003
ratio of the average weight of 0-4 size-band businesses to the 5-9 size-band companies (which was around
15%). This ratio was then applied to the Defra 2010 5-9 size-band average weight to obtain a 0-4 size-band
estimate.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 33

(2) The data from the 2002/03 England survey was obtained directly from the Environment Agency. The
2002/03 Environment Agency survey for England included 153 businesses in the hospitality sector of which
132 were from the subsectors of interest.

Scotland
SEPA provided detailed survey returns from their 2006 survey for 264 businesses from the hospitality
subsectors of interest. Following provisional analysis (see Section 2.7.4), the average amount of waste per
business was significantly higher than from the Environment Agency dataset. Because time and resources
meant further investigation of the differences was not possible, and because the Scottish survey had not
been able to use the preferred face-to-face method, it was decided not to use the dataset any further.

Wales
Provisional enquiries with the Welsh Assembly Government identified that SIC codes 55 (Accommodation)
and 56 (Food Services) were grouped together, which meant the level of detail obtained from the waste
composition work could not be matched up. For this reason it was decided not to use the Welsh data any
further.

Northern Ireland
The Northern Ireland Department of the Environment provided data from its 2004/05 survey. The data for
the appropriate SIC codes was commonly recorded as waste volumes rather than weights, which would have
required recalculating weights from volume data. More significantly, there appeared to be a number of
discrepancies in the volume figures. It was therefore decided not to use the Northern Ireland data any
further.

Three of the national datasets are considered further the Defra 2010 survey, the Environment Agency survey
from 2002/03, and the SEPA 2006 survey. For the SEPA dataset, the business averages are considered in Section
2.7.4 but then it is not used further.

2.7.2 The total number of hospitality businesses the ONS data


To scale up the findings, a hospitality business population database was required. This research has used the
hospitality industry database Caterlyst (see Section 2.4). Most national surveys of industrial and commercial
waste use ONS data on the number of businesses for a given SIC code and geographical area. There are pros
and cons with both databases, but of principal concern at this point in the project was providing national waste
estimates that would be replicable in the future. For these reasons, it was decided to use ONS figures in the
calculation of UK figures.
The total UK hospitality sector according to ONS data (March 2009) is shown in 0. The ONS data is based on
Value Added Tax (VAT) and Pay As You Earn (PAYE) returns and is unlikely to pick up smaller businesses such as
bed & breakfasts. According to the ONS, over 70% of the businesses in the sector have fewer than 10
employees, with less than 3% of businesses having 50 employees or more. It should be noted that the smallest
size-band in the table is a combination of the ONS 0-4 and 5-9 groups as different surveys use slightly different
groupings and 0-9 captures all of these.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 34

Table 15
Subsector
Hotels

ONS individual site count of hospitality businesses in the UK for the four subsectors of interest
(March 2009) by size-band (number of employees)33
0--9

10-19

20-49

50-99

100-249

250+

Total

5975

2245

2330

1100

555

85

12,290

Pubs

33,675

8435

4790

340

20

10

47,270

QSRs

27,335

1895

725

75

10

30,040

Restaurants

29,525

7170

5200

1280

155

20

43,350

96,510

19745

13045

2795

740

115

132,950

Total

2.7.3 Assessing the suitability and compatibility of the different datasets


The next step was to compare the sample distribution of the four datasets under review (Defra, Environment
Agency, SEPA and WRAP waste audits) using the sample framework in 0. The data from all the surveys could be
fitted into a standard framework. In general, the distributions across the sample framework are relatively even
across the datasets. As is commonly observed with industrial and commercial waste studies, all have fairly sparse
coverage of the larger companies; this is particularly the case for the WRAP waste audits due to the failed
reliance on corporate datasets for the larger companies. However, given that the vast majority of businesses in
the sector have less than 50 employees, it is not thought to be a significant issue.
For the whole hospitality sector, a sample approaching 400 would be required to achieve a confidence interval of
+/-5% at 95%. Using a stratified random sampling method, the required sample would be in excess of 2000
businesses. None of the surveys has sufficient sample sizes within the hospitality sector to produce estimates to
this degree of confidence. Further, the different survey methods employed are likely to introduce different types
and levels of error that produce different estimates. It is therefore important to bear in mind that the estimates
quoted here should be regarded as indicative.

2.7.4 The average amount of mixed waste per company


To calculate UK estimates, a figure for the average quantity of mixed waste per company was required from the
national data for each subsector and employee size-band. Since the reliability of this figure has a very significant
impact when grossing up to UK estimates, before going ahead the average amounts of total waste from the
Defra, Environment Agency and SEPA datasets were reviewed. The average total waste per company from the
WRAP waste audit data (for total waste, not just residual waste) is also shown in 0 for comparative purposes
only; it was not intended to be used for scaling up.

33

The distribution of hospitality businesses in the ONS data is different to that observed in the Caterlyst database. This is
because the data is collected and categorised differently; see section 2.4.1.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 35

Table 16
Size band

1-9

10-19

20-49

The average waste per company (tonnes per year) by subsector and employee size-band from the
three datasets available for this study (WRAP data for comparative purposes only)
Dataset

100-249

250+

Pubs

QSRs

Restaurants

WRAP

11

Environment Agency

16

16

Defra

16

34

10

13

SEPA

21

22

20

21

WRAP

17

14

14

17

Environment Agency

47

52

38

47

Defra

32

61

18

38

SEPA

49

31

33

40

WRAP

22

23

37

34

Environment Agency

67

45

76

Defra

40

SEPA

93

WRAP
50-99

Hotels

67*

54

97

179

95

227

71

Environment Agency

146

186

64

Defra

129

108

SEPA

273

202

235

WRAP

61

90

Environment Agency

291

80

137

Defra

152

69

SEPA

135

WRAP

112

Environment Agency

355

448

Defra

614*

17*

251

SEPA

302

192*

118*

* Analysis of the Defra dataset showed some anomalies that only appear when analysing the data at a subsector level. As
such, survey data from six businesses was removed from these cells for the subsequent scale-up and analysis.

Of particular note in 0 is the lack of consistency in the average quantity of mixed waste produced across the
majority of subsector samples. Waste quantities generally increase as the method of estimation moves away
from on-site collection of waste (as in the WRAP waste audits), to site visits (Defra and Environment Agency)
and finally to postal returns (SEPA). Of the 45 compared observations, only one (restaurants, size band 1-9 in
the Environment Agency sample) is within 10% of the WRAP waste audit estimates. There is also a similar lack
of consistency between the Environment Agency and SEPA samples. However, the Defra and Environment
Agency results are very broadly similar, possibly reflecting the similar method adopted in these studies.
Following provisional grossing up using the SEPA data for Scotland, the analysis confirmed that it would produce
a significantly larger total waste figure (approximately 65% higher) when compared to using averages from the
Environment Agency and Defra datasets. Therefore, despite the larger sample size in the SEPA survey, the
decision was taken to use the average waste per business from the Defra 2010 study for all UK nations with one
significant adjustment. As mentioned, to provide an estimate for the 0-4 size-band, the Defra 2010 study used
the ratio of the average weights of 0-4:5-9 size-bands from the 2002/03 and applied these to the Defra 2010 5-9
results. The ratio was around 15%. However, the WRAP dataset provides a more up to date picture with a ratio
a little over 51%. This compares with the SEPA data ratio of 55%. Given the more recent nature of the WRAP
data and the approximate agreement with the SEPA data, the 51% ratio of 0-4:5-9 weight was used to scale up.
The subsequent estimated average waste for the 1-9 size-band was different for each of the four UK nations
reflecting the different proportions of companies in the two smallest size-bands.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 36

2.7.5 Gross up methodology for UK waste estimates of total waste


To gross up the Defra 2010 data, it is necessary to calculate the average waste per company for each cell in the
sample framework. For some cells in the framework, no businesses were sampled so an estimate was calculated
using samples from the surrounding cells. To do this the average weight per employee of the sampled cells was
calculated and applied to the non-sampled cell and the relevant employee size-band (using the mid-point). This
was carried out using the total waste from the Defra 2010 survey data and the number of businesses surveyed
for each cell (i.e. each size-band and subsector). Table 17 shows the average waste per employee for each cell
using the mid-point of the employee size-band, with the exception of 250+ employees where 250 was used. In
general, businesses with fewer employees produce more waste per employee, suggesting economies of scale
with respect to waste production.
For cells with missing data (e.g. QSRs, shaded grey cells in Table 17), average waste per employee was assumed
that broadly reflected the trends in the data from the other sectors. Figures are rounded to one decimal place.
Table 17

Sector

The average total waste per employee (tonnes per year) using Defra data by size-band mid-point
(cells shaded grey denote missing survey data)
Employee size-band mid-point
1-9

10-19

20-49

50-99

100-149

250+

Hotels

2.2

2.1

1.2

1.7

0.9

1.4

Restaurants

1.7

2.6

2.8

0.3

0.4

1.0

QSRs

1.2

1.2

1.5

1.5

1.5

1.5

Pubs

4.7

4.1

1.5

1.5

1.5

1.5

The completion of the missing cells above produced the average waste figures in Table 18 for each cell in the
framework.
Table 18
Sector

Average total waste per company for each sample cell (tonnes per year)
Employee size-band
1-9

10-19

20-49

50-99

100-149

250+

11

32

40

129

152

339

38

97

18

69

251

QSRs

18

54

112

262

375

Pubs

24

61

53

108

262

375

Hotels
Restaurants

The total waste produced in the UK hospitality sector was estimated by multiplying the total number of
hospitality businesses in each of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland from ONS data (March 2009)
with estimates of total waste per business, as shown in Table 18. This provided a grossed-up total waste figure
for each subsector, size-band and nation.

2.7.6 Gross up methodology for UK waste estimates of total mixed waste and its
composition
The next calculation step was to define the proportion of the total waste figure in Table 18 which comprises
mixed (residual) waste. The Defra 2010 dataset uses Substance-Oriented Codes (SOCs) from the European
Waste Catalogue, which includes a mixed waste category. The amount of mixed waste not composted,
recycled or reused was expressed as a proportion of the total amount of waste for each subsector.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 37

A similar calculation was carried out to provide the summary recycling/reuse figures in Section 3.4 by combining
waste tonnages classified as recycled and reused and expressing this as a proportion of total waste within the
Defra data.34
The mixed waste composition data from the WRAP waste audits carried out as part of this project was then
applied to the corresponding grossed-up mixed waste tonnages to estimate the quantity of each waste material
in the UK hospitality sectors mixed waste going for disposal. It has been assumed that the total waste per
business (by subsector and size-band) and the ratio of mixed waste to total waste from the Defra 2010 dataset
of hospitality businesses in England is representative of UK businesses as a whole. Additionally, because of the
relatively small sample size the annualised mixed waste composition data from the WRAP waste audits was
calculated at the subsector level (rather than by employee size-band within a given subsector), so it has been
assumed that the proportion of mixed waste is the same across all the employee size-bands for a given
subsector that were subsequently used in the grossing-up procedure.
Whilst the WRAP waste audits took place across the UK (see Figure 3 ), there were insufficient samples across
the four subsectors to apply individual composition data for each individual UK nation. We have therefore
assumed that the composition of mixed waste is the same in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Confidence intervals have not been calculated for the tonnage data. This is because it proved statistically difficult
to combine several sources of error together into one measure of error in the time available. A further study will
be carried out to derive estimates of the error associated with the tonnage data reported here.

2.8

Calculating carbon35 benefits of preventing, recycling and recovering waste

This section outlines the approach taken to estimating the carbon benefits of preventing, recycling and
recovering hospitality sector waste, focusing on:
the CO2 equivalent emissions (CO2e) associated with the dominant waste streams currently going to landfill;
and
the potential carbon savings to be made through prevention, recovery or recycling of them.

WRAP has been unable to find much information on the environmental impacts of out-of-home eating. For this
reason this report uses data on in-home eating combined with an estimate of in-school eating, although it is
recognised that there will be differences, particularly in the transport impacts, but currently these cannot be
quantified.

2.8.1 Carbon savings from food waste recovery


Best available evidence suggests that 0.5 tonnes of CO2e emissions are generated for every tonne of food waste
36
currently sent for disposal; this could be saved if the waste was diverted into AD. To calculate the total amount
of CO2e that could be saved if food waste was diverted to AD the total amount of food waste being disposed of
was multiplied by 0.5.

2.8.2 Carbon savings from food waste prevention


Best available evidence indicates that 4.2 tonnes of CO2e emissions are produced for each tonne of food
disposed.36 This estimate includes emissions from food production, transport and food waste disposal. The
factors were then multiplied by the total amount of food waste produced to generate estimates of the savings
that could be realised if the waste was prevented.
34

35

36

In addition to composting, recycled and reused , the other disposal routes used in the Defra dataset were landfill,
thermal treatment, transfer, other treatment and unknown. It is likely that an unknown proportion of the waste
classified as transfer may subsequently have gone on to be recycled.
By carbon we mean CO2 equivalent emissions. Factors for converting tonnages to CO2e are generated by WRAP based on
best available evidence. Factors are regularly reviewed. The most up to date set of factors can be provided on request from
evaluation@wrap.org.uk.
WRAP (2010) Waste Arisings in the Supply of Food and Drink to Households in the UK WRAP: Banbury
http://www.wrap.org.uk/retail_supply_chain/research_tools/research/report_waste.html

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 38

2.8.3 Carbon savings from preventing and recycling key waste streams
The carbon benefits of recycling derive from avoided raw material use, assuming that recycled material replaces
virgin raw material. Table 19 shows the factors that have been used for preventing and recycling one tonne of
the key materials. These were then multiplied by the amount of each material sent to landfill to generate
estimates of the carbon that could be saved if the materials were diverted to recycling.
Tonnes of CO2e emissions saved as a result of preventing and recycling one tonne of waste 37

Table 19
Material

Tonnes of CO2e
emissions saved from
waste prevention

Tonnes of CO2e
emissions saved from
recycling

Glass

0.92

0.39

Average board

1.60

1.08

Wrapping papers

1.51

0.99

Dense plastic

3.32

1.20

Plastic film

2.63

1.08

2.9

Calculating cost savings from preventing and recovering food waste

This section sets out the approach to quantifying, in monetary terms, the impact of the avoidable food waste.
This is done from two perspectives:
1.
2.

looking at the costs of food purchased and then wasted; and


looking at the costs of food waste disposal.

Costs associated with packaging have not been calculated on the basis that they generally cannot be avoided by
the hospitality business.

2.9.1 Potential cost savings from reduced food purchasing


If the wasted food could in some way be prevented, for example through better planning and storage, it would
avoid the need to purchase new food. This is admittedly a simplistic approach as not all avoided food waste will
avoid additional purchasing; if diners could be persuaded to avoid leaving food on their plates, for example, this
would not avoid additional purchasing. Since this study was not able to distinguish between food waste that
would and would not avoid additional purchasing if prevented, we have made a simple assumption that all
prevented food waste would avoid additional purchasing.
There are some elements of food waste that are unavoidable, for example peelings and bones. Unavoidable food
waste has not been included in the weight of food that is potentially preventable although it will be included in
the weight of food purchased. This will lead to an underestimate of the cost of disposing of avoidable food
waste.
No published information on the commercial costs of food in hospitality could be identified. However two studies
were found which were felt to bear some relevance to the sector and the mean cost per tonne was calculated
from them. The first is a study on the cost of food and drink wasted in the home states that the wasted food and
drink costs 2,264 a tonne to buy38 and the second is a study on food waste in schools from which it can be
calculated that the food purchased to make school dinners costs 1,152 a tonne.39 The mean cost of buying the
food and drink that goes on to be wasted is therefore 1,708 a tonne. Due to the very obvious differences
37

Figures taken from source data within WRAP (2011) Methodology for assessing the climate change impacts of packaging
optimisation under the Courtauld Commitment Phase 2 www.wrap.org.uk/document.rm?id=10324

38

WRAP (2009) Household food and drink waste in the UK WRAP: Banbury

39

www.wrap.org.uk/retail/case_studies_research/report_household.html
School Food Trust (2007) School meal provision in England and other Western countries: a review
www.schoolfoodtrust.org.uk/UploadDocs/Library/Documents/sft_school_meals_review.pdf. The figures quoted here
have been derived from the figures stated in the report, converting to tonnes and taking the average of the costs in the four
UK nations. More information is provided in Appendix H.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 39

between school dinners, in-home dinners and meals provided by the hospitality industry, and the
underestimation introduced by including the costs of purchasing unavoidable parts of food items, this figure
should be regarded as at best indicative of likely costs. Further research would be needed to generate a more
precise estimate.

2.9.2 Potential cost savings from reduced food waste disposal


If food waste is prevented from occurring, the total cost of disposing of waste will be avoided. However, if food
waste is diverted to AD there will still be costs to the business so it is important that only the net savings are
considered.
Typical haulage costs for food waste in the mixed waste are around 15 per tonne, accounting for a range of
different transport methods and distances. There are some potential additional costs from diverting food waste
to AD because separately collected food waste is more likely to require bulking up before onwards transport for
processing compared to mixed waste which tends to be collected in bulk in refuse collection vehicles and
delivered direct to landfill. Typical costs of transferring waste after bulking up are 7-10 a tonne; this report
assumes the higher value.
There will also be some savings. A typical cost per tonne of disposing of food waste to landfill is 78, including
gate fee and landfill tax, while diversion to AD is currently 57 per tonne.40 Food waste recovery via AD may
therefore save around 21 per tonne. The on-going increases in landfill will make the difference between these
two options more extreme as time goes on.

2.9.3 Total potential cost savings from preventing food waste


Cost savings resulting from preventing food waste occurring in the first place are therefore:
avoided cost of purchasing food (1,708 a tonne); plus
avoided cost of haulage (15 a tonne for waste going to landfill or 25 for waste going to AD); plus
avoided cost of disposal (78 a tonne for waste going to landfill or 57 a tonne for waste going to AD);
making
a total cost saving of between 1,790 to 1,801 depending on whether the waste would have otherwise gone
to landfill or AD41

Given the uncertainties in the numbers we have assumed a typical cost saving of 1,800 per tonne of food
waste.

2.9.4 Total potential cost savings from diverting waste away from landfill to AD
By simply diverting waste to AD purchase costs are not avoided so the savings to be considered are those from
avoided landfill costs alone. Assuming that costs and savings are passed on by the waste management company
to the business, diverting food waste to AD could result in the following cost savings:

an additional haulage cost of 10 a tonne; minus


avoided cost of landfill disposal of 21 a tonne; making
a total cost saving of 11 a tonne.

40

WRAP(2010) Comparing the Costs of Alternative Waste Treatment Options Banbury: WRAP
www.wrap.org.uk/downloads/2010_Gate_Fees_Report.0335a9bc.9523.pdf

41

Costs savings that may result from avoided preparation time have not been included here so the real cost savings may be
higher.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 40

2.10

The remainder of the report

The rest of this report presents the results of the work and the conclusions and recommendations derived from
them.
Chapter 3 The waste produced by the UK hospitality industry:
what we know about the waste generated by the hospitality sector as a result of this project, with emphasis
on mixed waste and its composition;
Chapter 4 Waste management practices of the hospitality sector:
what we know about the waste management practices of the sector as a result of the telephone survey that
was part of the project;
Chapter 5 Implications of the study for future research into industrial and commercial waste:
what we have learned about quantifying waste as a result of this study of the hospitality sector;
Chapter 6 Conclusions.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 41

3.0 The waste disposed of by the UK hospitality industry


3.1

Introduction

This chapter presents what we know about the waste generated by the hospitality sector as a result of this
project. To re-emphasise, the scope of the hospitality sector for the purposes of this study includes:

the profit sector, i.e. hotels, pubs, QSRs and restaurants;

and excludes:
canteens, cafs and other catering establishments that are situated in other organisations (sometimes
referred to as the cost sector);and
the leisure sub-sector including self-catering profit establishments such as caravan sites and holiday cottages.

The chapter is broken down into the following sections:

Sections 3.2 and 3.3 are a brief recap on methods and sources of error, referring the reader to the
appropriate methodology section for more detail;
Section 3.4 provides a summary of the total waste produced by the UK hospitality sector, by subsector and
nation, and summary estimates of mixed waste and recycling/reuse;
Section 3.5 presents more detailed data on the contents of the mixed (residual) waste stream;
Section 3.6 highlights the potential for increased recycling of the contents of the mixed waste stream using
existing and also emerging recyclate markets;
Section 3.7 looks at the opportunities for carbon savings from recycling more;
Section 0 assesses the financial savings that could be made from recycling and reducing waste; and
Section 3.9 considers the relationship between the quantity of mixed waste and the number of meals served
in order to identify if this would be a useful benchmark for hospitality businesses.

3.2

Recap on methods

Chapter 2 sets out in detail the methods used to derive estimates of the quantity and composition of mixed
waste going for disposal and outlines the thought process that decided which method would be used. The
research uses a combination of industrial and commercial waste data from the recently completed national
survey alongside the findings from the compositional analysis of mixed waste from the current study. The value
of the compositional analysis is in its depth (e.g. detailed material types) rather than its breadth (e.g. waste
over time), whilst the opposite is true for the national waste survey.
To summarise, the final method involved the following calculations and assumptions:
for each subsector, estimating the typical composition of mixed waste based on a sample of 138 waste
audits; and
applying the typical composition to the amount of mixed waste produced by UK hospitality businesses,
calculated using the Defra 2010 data on average amounts of waste per business and 2009 ONS data on the
number of businesses (adjusting the estimate for the 1-9 size-band using the WRAP survey data).

3.3

Recap on sources of error

Chapter 2 discusses sources of error in detail. For the purposes of this chapter, it is necessary to bear in mind
the following points, which are likely to be significant but were not measured and are not taken into account in
the figures presented:
respondent error (e.g. people remembering incorrectly);
observation error (e.g. inaccuracies associated with estimating how full a container is or its volume);
estimation error (e.g. inaccuracies in bulk density factors or in information about the size of the population);
and
representativity error (e.g. assuming that the sample taken is representative of a whole years waste).

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry42

When grossing up to the sector level, assumptions used can also affect the total. For example, using the same
assumption as used in the Defra 2010 survey to produce estimates for the 0-4 size-band reduces the total in this
analysis by almost 450,000 tonnes. For these reasons the figures presented in this report should be taken as
indicative of the nature and scale of waste produced by the hospitality sector i.e. our current best estimate.
Unless stated otherwise, figures in the following tables are rounded. Where averages are presented, it must be
remembered that these are statistical averages and are unlikely to reflect the waste produced by any
individual company in the real world. Confidence intervals are not presented for reasons given in section 2.7.6,
but readers should bear in mind there is likely to be a considerable degree of uncertainty due to the small
sample sizes.

3.4

Summary waste estimates for the UK hospitality profit sector

Just over 3.4 million tonnes per year of waste is generated by the sector.
Just under 1.5 million tonnes (43%) of this is mixed waste that goes for disposal.
Just over 1.6 million tonnes (47%) is recycled, reused or composted.42

Table 20 shows the estimated waste total, mixed (residual) waste and recycled/reused produced by the UK
hospitality sector, whilst Table 21 shows the proportions that these represent (which are the same for each of
the UK nations due to the method used to generate the data). Most waste destined for disposal will be going to
landfill but a small amount will be sent to other options. Waste managed in other ways is mainly spread on land.
Table 20

Nation

The waste produced by the UK hospitality sector in 2009 by subsector and nation (rounded to the
nearest 1000 tonnes)
Subsector
Hotels

England

131,000

231,000

9,000

552,000

643,000

182,000

QSRs

202,000

88,000

110,000

3,000

Restaurants

894,000

457,000

350,000

88,000

2,842,000

1,228,000

1,334,000

282,000

Hotels

27,000

10,000

17,000

1,000

Pubs

89,000

35,000

41,000

12,000

QSRs

11,000

5,000

6,000

Hotels

21,000

16,000

4,000

71,000

80,000

17,000

76,000

27,000

47,000

2,000

112,000

45,000

52,000

15,000

QSRs

23,000

10,000

12,000

Restaurants

97,000

49,000

38,000

9,000
26,000

308,000

131,000

149,000

Hotels

12,000

4,000

8,000

Pubs

34,000

14,000

16,000

5,000

QSRs

11,000

5,000

6,000

Restaurants

40,000

20,000

16,000

4,000

Subtotal

97,000

43,000

46,000

9,000

Hotels

485,000

171,000

303,000

11,000

Pubs

1,610,000

646,000

752,000

213,000

QSRs

246,000

108,000

135,000

4,000

1,072,000

548,000

419,000

105,000

3,415,000

1,473,000

1,609,000

334,000

Restaurants
UK Total

42

41,000
168,000

Pubs

Subtotal

UK

Non-mixed waste or
mixed waste
managed in other
ways

370,000

Subtotal

Northern
Ireland

Waste destined for


recycling/reuse

1,376,000

Restaurants

Scotland

Mixed (residual)
waste
destined for
disposal

Pubs

Subtotal

Wales

Total waste

The 9% of waste in the final column is a combination of relatively rare waste types and disposal/treatment routes. The
estimates for recycling, reuse and composting are based on proportions taken from the Defra 2010 dataset.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 43

Table 21

The proportion of waste from the UK hospitality sector managed by recycling/reuse and
treatment/disposal in 2009

Waste management
method

Hotels

Pubs

QSRs

Restaurants

Recycling and reuse

62.4%

46.7%

54.6%

39.1%

Disposal

35.3%

40.1%

43.7%

51.1%

Other

2.3%

13.2%

1.7%

9.8%

Total

100.00%

100.00%

100.00%

100.00%

The overall amounts of waste produced that are shown in Table 20 are, to some extent, a reflection of the
number of companies in the sector. Table 22 shows the average amount of waste produced per business for
each subsector from the Defra 2010 results excluding outliers. This shows that, on average, hotels produce the
most waste and pubs the least.
Two measures of the average amount of total waste are presented in Table 22. The mean is the most
appropriate measure to use when discussing the sector as whole. When looking at the waste that any one
company within the sector is most likely to be producing, the median is the most appropriate measure to use.
When using the median, though, it should be borne in mind that there will be a few businesses that are
producing significantly more than the median amount.
Table 22

Subsector
Hotels

The total waste produced per company in the UK hospitality sector (tonnes per year) (rounded to
the nearest tonne)
Total waste
Mean

Median

149

66

Pubs

52

43

QSRs

23

12

Restaurants

65

30

3.5

The composition of mixed (residual) waste produced by the UK hospitality industry

Section 3.2 provides a brief recap on methods and should be read before reading this section. Whilst waste
audits were carried out across the UK, there was an insufficient number of audits across the four subsectors (see
Table 11 on page 29) to calculate individual mixed waste composition data specific to each UK nation.
Theoretically, there is little reason why the average composition of mixed waste from a hotel in Wales will be any
different to that of a hotel elsewhere in the UK. Limitations of the industrial and commercial waste datasets for
individual UK nations also meant that mixed waste data (average per business type and size-band) from the
Defra 2010 survey in England were used in all subsequent calculations for each UK nation. However, countryspecific business population numbers (sourced from ONS figures for March 2009) were used in the calculation of
national estimates.
For the reasons above, only UK estimates for the composition of mixed waste are presented and discussed in the
following section. Estimates of the quantity of different materials in the mixed waste stream are calculated for
each nation and provided in Appendix A. We suggest that the national tonnages in Appendix A for Scotland,
Wales and Northern Ireland are considered as indicative and a best estimate with the tools available.
Figures 4-8 provide a summary of the composition of mixed waste from the UK hospitality sector as a whole as
well as from the subsectors hotels, pubs, QSRs and restaurants. For clarity, material categories with a relatively
low occurrence have been combined as other. 43 The number of mixed waste samples which these figures are
based on is provided.

43

Other comprises textiles, miscellaneous combustibles, miscellaneous non-combustibles, ferrous metal, non-ferrous metal,
WEEE, hazardous waste (including batteries and clinical waste), garden/green waste, fines (<10mm) and liquids.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 44

Figure 5

The composition (%) of mixed (residual) waste disposed of by the hospitality sector (138 samples)
in the UK by primary material category

Figure 6

The composition (%) of mixed (residual) waste disposed of by hotels (35 samples) in the UK by
primary material category

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 45

Figure 7

The composition (%) of mixed (residual) waste disposed of by pubs (29 samples) in the UK by
primary material category

Figure 8

The composition (%) of mixed (residual) waste disposed of by QSRs (32 samples) in the UK by
primary material category

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 46

Figure 9

The composition (%) of mixed (residual) waste disposed of by restaurants (42 samples) in the UK
by primary material category

Table 23 provides a more detailed breakdown of the primary and secondary waste material categories found in
the mixed waste of the hospitality sector. Tonnages are per year and based on Defra 2010 waste survey data,
ONS population figures for each nation (2009) and findings from the waste composition audits undertaken in this
project (2009). Tonnages are rounded to the nearest 100 tonnes and percentages rounded to one decimal place.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 47

Table 23

Primary
category
Paper

The composition of mixed (residual) waste disposed of by the UK hospitality sector, by primary and secondary material category and four subsectors (tonnages
rounded to nearest 100 tonnes)
Secondary category
Newspaper/catalogues
Paper packaging

Card

Tonnes

Tonnes

Tonnes

15,200

8.9%

24,600

3.8%

3,500

3.3%

14,500

2.6%

57,800

3.9%

1,400

0.8%

3,800

0.6%

2,500

2.3%

1,800

0.3%

9,500

0.7%

8.7%

41,100

6.4%

10,300

9.5%

62,400

11.4%

128,600

8.6%

18.3%

69,500

10.8%

16,300

15.1%

78,700

14.3%

195,900

13.2%

400

0.2%

2,000

0.3%

200

0.2%

1,000

0.2%

3,600

0.2%

Board packaging

7,000

4.1%

40,800

6.3%

6,800

6.3%

44,500

8.1%

99,100

6.7%

Card packaging

4,600

2.7%

13,200

2.0%

2,000

1.9%

8,300

1.5%

28,100

1.9%

500

0.3%

2,200

0.3%

100

0.1%

700

0.1%

3,500

0.2%

12,500

7.3%

58,100

9.0%

9,200

8.6%

54,500

9.9%

134,300

9.1%

PET plastic bottles

1,600

0.9%

4,000

0.6%

900

0.8%

2,800

0.5%

9,300

0.6%

HDPE plastic bottles

1,900

1.1%

5,500

0.8%

900

0.9%

4,900

0.9%

13,200

0.9%

Other plastic bottles

1,000

0.6%

2,400

0.4%

200

0.2%

1,700

0.3%

5,300

0.4%

Other dense plastic packaging

5,200

3.0%

12,700

2.0%

2,700

2.5%

9,300

1.7%

29,900

2.0%

Liquid cartons

2,600

1.5%

4,900

0.8%

500

0.4%

2,400

0.4%

10,400

0.7%

12,300

7.2%

29,500

4.6%

5,200

4.8%

21,200

3.9%

68,200

4.6%

Plastic film

9,500

5.5%

18,200

2.8%

5,000

4.6%

17,600

3.2%

50,300

3.4%

Plastic bags

3,600

2.1%

10,900

1.7%

1,500

1.4%

10,800

2.0%

26,800

1.8%

13,100

7.6%

29,000

4.5%

6,500

6.0%

28,400

5.2%

77,000

5.2%

2,600

1.5%

14,100

2.2%

500

0.4%

4,800

0.9%

22,200

1.5%

5,100

2.9%

22,700

3.5%

1,200

1.1%

37,400

6.8%

66,400

4.4%

10,200

5.9%

59,000

9.1%

1,600

1.5%

27,700

5.1%

98,500

6.7%

1,400

0.8%

34,100

5.3%

300

0.3%

9,300

1.7%

45,100

3.1%

300

0.2%

1,600

0.3%

100

0.1%

1,000

0.2%

3,000

0.2%

16,900

9.9%

117,500

3,200

3.0%

75,300

13.7%

212,900

14.4%

Plastic film subtotal


Textiles
Green glass bottles and jars
Clear glass bottles and jars
Brown glass bottles and jars
Other glass
Glass subtotal

45

UK Total

31,400

Dense plastic subtotal

44

Tonnes

Restaurants

14,800

Other dense plastic

Glass

QSRs

Paper subtotal

Card subtotal

Plastic film45

Tonnes

Pubs

Non-recyclable paper

Other card

Dense plastic44

Hotels

18.2%

Includes plastic bottles and other containers as well as hard plastic objects.
Includes single-use plastic bags and bin bags.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 48

Primary
category

Secondary category

Miscellaneous combustible

46

5.9%

1,200

0.7%

2,000

1,900

1.1%

8,200

100

0.1%

Other ferrous metal

1,200

Ferrous metal subtotal

Liquids
Total

46
47
48
49
50

1,500

1.4%

7,900

1.4%

0.3%

100

0.1%

3,900

1.3%

1,800

1.7%

7,500

500

0.1%

0.0%

0.7%

2,400

0.4%

200

UK Total
Tonnes

51,100

3.5%

0.7%

7,200

0.5%

1.4%

19,400

1.3%

400

0.1%

1,000

0.1%

0.2%

2,300

0.4%

6,100

0.4%

1.9%

11,200

1.7%

2,000

1.9%

10,300

1.9%

26,700

1.8%

0.2%

3,000

0.5%

600

0.5%

1,300

0.2%

5,200

0.4%

Foil

400

0.2%

2,500

0.4%

400

0.3%

1,500

0.3%

4,800

0.3%

Non-ferrous aerosols

100

0.0%

100

0.0%

0.0%

100

0.0%

300

0.0%

48

100

0.1%

200

0.0%

0.0%

800

0.2%

1,100

0.1%

1,000

0.6%

5,900

0.9%

900

0.9%

3,600

0.7%

11,400

0.8%

300

0.2%

200

0.0%

0.0%

1,600

0.3%

2,100

0.1%

100

0.1%

400

0.1%

500

0.4%

600

0.1%

1,600

0.1%

5,100

3.0%

12,500

1.9%

3,300

3.0%

1,400

0.3%

22,300

1.5%

1,700

1.0%

2,900

0.5%

2,800

2.6%

6,100

1.1%

13,500

0.9%

100

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

100

0.0%

Non-packaged avoidable

38,700

22.6%

151,400

23.4%

36,500

33.9%

160,900

29.3%

387,500

26.3%

Non-packaged unavoidable

23,300

13.6%

87,200

13.5%

15,400

14.3%

72,900

13.3%

198,800

13.5%

Kitchen waste subtotal

63,700

37.2%

241,500

37.4%

54,700

50.8%

239,900

43.7%

599,800

40.8%

3,400

2.0%

12,600

1.9%

2,900

2.7%

11,900

2.2%

30,800

2.1%

Garden waste

50

Tonnes

300

WEEE

Fines (<10mm)

Restaurants
%

3,200

Non-ferrous metal subtotal

Packaged avoidable
Packaged unavoidable

49

Tonnes

Non-ferrous food & beverage cans

Other non-ferrous metal

Kitchen (food)
waste

QSRs
%

38,300

Ferrous aerosols

Hazardous waste

Tonnes

2.0%

47

Ferrous food and beverage cans

Non-ferrous
metal

Pubs
%

3,400

Miscellaneous non-combustible
Ferrous metal

Hotels
Tonnes

1,100

0.7%

3,800

0.6%

900

0.8%

4,300

0.8%

10,100

0.7%

171,400

100.0%

645,900

100.0%

107,700

100.0%

548,400

100.0%

1,473,400

100.0%

E.g. wood.
E.g. building rubble.
Includes batteries and clinical waste.
Material so small that it fell through the 10mm by 10mm sorting screen.
Includes liquids inside containers and cooking oils (the latter accounts for the majority of the weight reported). Excludes liquids disposed of to the sink and sewer since these were outside the
scope of the study.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry

49

The composition of mixed waste was relatively consistent across the four subsectors. Kitchen (food) waste
dominates all four subsectors (37-51%); from Table 23 just under 600,000 tonnes of food waste is estimated to
be disposed of each year.
One of the main opportunities for waste prevention is the quantity of avoidable food waste, i.e. wasted food that
could have been eaten if it had been better portioned, managed, stored and/or prepared and excluding items not
usually consumed (e.g. banana skins and vegetable peelings).51 This study estimates that around 400,000 tonnes
of food waste (or 67% of the total food waste) could in theory have been avoided. The great majority of
avoidable food waste (97% or 388,000 tonnes) was disposed of outside any original packaging. In practice, this
type of food waste is primarily loose food left over at the end of a meal i.e. plate scrapings. The 12,000 tonnes
of avoidable food waste contained in its original packaging is likely to reflect waste associated with stock
management.
Not all food waste can be avoided 200,000 tonnes (or 33% of the total food waste) is unavoidable and outside
any original packaging (e.g. vegetable peelings). Although this unavoidable food cannot be prevented, it could be
captured using a separate recycling collection and sent for more environmentally beneficial treatment and
disposal than landfill where the majority of this waste currently goes.
At 200,000 tonnes or over 13% in total, paper makes up a significant proportion of the mixed waste from
hospitality businesses. Although approximately 65% of the paper in the mixed waste was deemed nonrecyclable, recyclable newspapers and catalogues still comprise between 3% and 9%, depending on the
subsector. Glass accounts for a significant proportion of mixed waste from pubs (18% or 118,000 tonnes) and
restaurants (14% or 75,000 tonnes) where greater consumption of bottled drinks would be expected. The
occurrence of relatively large amounts of glass in the mixed waste from pubs is despite the relatively common
occurrence of glass recycling schemes observed during the waste audits (see Table 8 on page 24).
Approximately 74% of the 134,000 tonnes of card produced by hospitality businesses was classified as board
packaging and its occurrence varied from 4-8% across the subsectors. Plastic film (5-8%) and dense plastic
(4-7%) make up very similar proportions of the mixed waste across all four subsectors. PET and HDPE plastic
bottles, which are commonly recycled in the household waste collection system, make up 33% or 23,000 tonnes
of the total dense plastic found in the whole sector. Nearly 38,000 tonnes of metal is disposed with most coming
from pubs and restaurants sub-sectors.

3.6

The opportunities for increased recycling of mixed waste

The composition analysis of the mixed waste stream enabled an assessment of the proportion of material that
could be recovered through increased recycling. A series of assumptions (see Appendix G) were made about
whether markets readily exist (e.g. for glass bottles) or whether a material is technically recyclable but markets
are only just starting to emerge (e.g. for mixed plastics). Dry recyclables are materials such as newspapers and
glass bottles. There are no emerging markets for food waste.
Table 24

Proportion of residual waste that could be recycled or composted (%)

Type

Market type

Hotels

Pubs

QSRs

Food waste

Established markets
only

39.1

38.9

51.2

42.9

Established markets
only

32.1

38.1

23.5

31.9

Established and
emerging markets

42.4

43.4

28.2

37.6

Established markets
only

71.2

77.0

74.7

74.8

Established and
emerging markets

81.5

82.3

79.4

80.5

Dry recyclables

Total

51

Restaurants

For a fuller description of food waste definitions please see section 2.5.4.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry

50

Table 24 shows the proportion of material in the residual waste that could be recycled/composted (including
energy generation through anaerobic digestion systems) through existing and emerging markets for all four
subsectors. Approximately 70% of the mixed waste produced by the hospitality sector could in theory be
recycled through established markets. This amount will increase to over 80% once emerging markets are
established. However, any increase would require the introduction of new collection schemes since only one-third
of the mixed waste could be recycled using the recycling collection systems observed during the waste audits.
There are also likely to be barriers other than just the introduction of a collection scheme. For example, an
increase in food waste recovery could be challenging due to issues with storing the waste on the premises,
attitudes amongst staff to food recycling and the need for the waste industry to build more treatment
infrastructure so that the food can be processed in accordance with current legislation.

3.7

Opportunities for carbon52 savings

Table 25 shows the CO2e impacts of the key waste materials streams found in the UK hospitality sectors mixed
residual waste. Together these materials make up 87% of the waste going to landfill in 2009 and as the table
shows they have a combined impact just less than 3.7 million tonnes of CO2e.
Table 25

Carbon emissions resulting from the key waste materials currently going to landfill (tonnes CO2e
rounded to the nearest 1,000 tonnes)
Hotels

Pubs

QSRs

Restaurants

UK

Glass

16,000

108,000

3,000

69,000

196,000

Card

20,000

93,000

15,000

87,000

215,000

Paper

47,000

105,000

25,000

119,000

296,000

Dense plastic

41,000

98,000

17,000

70,000

226,000

Plastic film

34,000

76,000

17,000

75,000

202,000

169,000

648,000

165,000

701,000

1,683,000

98,000

366,000

65,000

306,000

835,000

267,000

1,014,000

230,000

1,007,000

2,518,000

425,000

1,494,000

537,000

2,435,000

3,653,000

Avoidable
Food waste

Unavoidable
Total

Total

Table 25 suggests that if the avoidable food waste was prevented, the hospitality sector could potentially save
nearly 1.7 million tonnes of CO2e emissions.
Table 26 shows the potential GHG savings from diverting these materials to recycling or recovery. Kitchen waste
holds the greatest potential saving accounting for one third of the total.
Table 26

Potential CO2e savings from diverting key waste materials to recycling or recovery (tonnes CO2e
rounded to nearest 1,000 tonnes)
Hotels

Pubs

QSRs

Restaurants

UK

Glass

7,000

46,000

1,000

29,000

83,000

Card

14,000

63,000

10,000

59,000

146,000

Papers

31,000

69,000

16,000

78,000

194,000

Dense plastic

15,000

35,000

6,000

25,000

81,000

Plastic film

14,000

31,000

7,000

31,000

83,000

Food waste

32,000

121,000

28,000

182,000

363,000

113,000

365,000

96,000

586,000

950,000

Total

52

By carbon we mean CO2 equivalent savings, abbreviated as CO2e

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 51

3.8

Opportunities for financial savings

UK hospitality businesses pay around 1.02 billion a year to buy the food that is wasted. Preventing avoidable
food waste therefore offers significant opportunities for cost savings. At 1,800 per tonne of food wasted, Table
27 shows that the cost of avoidable food waste amounts to 722 million.
Table 27

Potential savings from preventing avoidable food waste (m per annum)


Potential
savings
(m)

Sector

Hotels

73

Pubs

278

QSRs

71

Restaurants

301

Hospitality sector

722

There are also cost savings to be made from diverting food waste away from landfill into AD. At 21 a tonne,
Table 28 shows that the sector as a whole could potentially save 6.6 million once AD plants and associated
collection schemes are more widespread.
Table 28

Potential savings from diverting all food waste from landfill to AD (m per annum)
Potential
savings
(m)

Sector

Hotels

0.7

Pubs

2.7

QSRs

0.6

Restaurants

2.6

Hospitality sector

6.6

As noted in section 2.9, non-food waste streams have not been considered because it is not typically within an
individual businesss control to reduce them.

3.9

Business waste benchmarks

The idea of establishing waste production benchmarks was discussed during the early stages of the research.
The amount of waste per meal served was identified as having most potential as it is likely to be a measure
common to all hospitality businesses. During the literature review, no previous studies were identified that had
looked at the relationship between waste and meals served. During the waste audits, businesses were asked to
provide details of the number of meals served and this has been combined with annualised estimates of mixed
waste (see Section 2.6.1) for a given business.
Hotels, pubs and QSRs showed a relatively weak relationship between waste production and the number of
meals served; less than 20% of the variation in waste was explained by the number of meals served. For
restaurants, there was a much stronger relationship; 57% of the variation in waste was explained by the number
of meals served which translates into an average of 0.5kg of mixed waste per meal served for the restaurants
included in the study.
The fact that hotels and pubs do not show a strong correlation between mixed waste produced and number of
meals served may be related to the fact that they have other functions, such as providing accommodation and
drinks, which dilute the effect. For QSRs, the likelihood is that most of the waste generated from their mealmaking activities occurs off-site. While it should be borne in mind that sample sizes are relatively small, the

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 52

findings for restaurants suggest that there may be value in putting further research effort into developing
benchmarks that are specific to each subsector, not necessarily just the number of meals served.

4.0

Waste management practices of the hospitality sector

This chapter draws mainly on the results of the telephone survey carried out as part of the study. Approximately
1600 businesses responded. A copy of the telephone questionnaire is provided in Appendix F. Whilst the
telephone survey was conducted using standard approaches for quality checking, it is important to highlight that
the results described below are self-declared behaviour and were not subject to on-site checks.

4.1

Waste collection

The vast majority of businesses pay for a professional waste collection; only 13 survey respondents (0.8% of the
total) said they did not pay for removal of their general waste, suggesting that it was put out with their
household waste or taken to a local household waste recycling centre (HWRC).

4.2

How mixed waste is kept on-site

Table 29 summarises the methods of mixed waste containment captured from the telephone survey. It is
important to remember that any one business may use more than one type of container, so rows will not add up
exactly. It should also be noted that the survey tended to focus on medium-sized businesses, excluding those
that used the household waste stream and those that were part of major chains. The survey revealed that by far
the most common type of container for mixed waste is the 1,100 litre four-wheeled continental bin, with 82% of
all businesses having at least one of these on-site.
Table 29

Subsector

Typical methods of mixed waste containment by subsector


2-wheeled
wheelie bin
No.

4-wheeled
continental
bin
No.

Skip with
compactor
No.

Skip without
compactor

No.

Hotels

44

12.5

329

93.5

2.3

QSRs

40

12.8

230

73.7

Restaurants

59

9.4

488

77.8

Pubs

31

8.4

314

85.1

174

10.5

1361

82.0

Total

Sacks

No.

19

5.4

17

0.3

2.2

0.6

12

1.9

0.0

11

13

0.8

49

Other
%

No.

Total
%

No.

4.8

0.6

352

30

9.6

1.0

312

71

11.3

0.3

627

3.0

13

3.5

0.3

369

3.0

131

7.9

0.5

1,660

Table 30 shows the average number of mixed waste bins held on-site for each bin type.
Table 30
Subsector

The average number of mixed waste bins on-site for each bin type by subsector
2-wheeled
wheelie
bin

4-wheeled
continental
bin

Skip with
compactor

Skip
without
compactor

Sacks

Other

Hotels

2.0

3.1

1.0

1.5

5.1

1.0

QSRs

2.3

1.7

1.0

1.0

4.0

2.0

Restaurants

2.8

2.2

1.0

1.2

4.9

2.5

Pubs

2.8

1.7

1.0

1.6

4.8

1.0

Average

2.5

2.2

1.0

1.4

4.7

1.8

Table 31 shows the average number of collections per week for each mixed waste bin type. It suggests that the
typical four-wheeled bin is collected between one and two times a week, whilst sacks are collected between four
and five times a week.53
53

Many of the observed sack collections were in London where collections are more frequent than in other parts of the UK, so
this figure should not be regarded as a UK average.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 53

Table 31

Subsector

The average number of residual waste bin collections per week for each bin type across the four
subsectors (n = 1660)
2-wheeled
wheelie
bin

4-wheeled
continental
bin

Skip with
compactor

Skip
without
compactor

Sacks

Other

Hotels

1.2

1.7

2.2

1.9

2.7

2.3

QSRs

2.1

1.8

2.5

1.5

3.6

2.7

Restaurants

2.6

2.2

3.0

1.8

5.3

5.0

Pubs

1.9

1.3

1.3

3.4

1.0

Average

2.0

1.8

1.7

4.4

2.8

No data
2.5

This study has shown that the density of mixed waste in containers is typically very low (see Section 5.5 page
62). This suggests that containers have significant amounts of void space. As mixed waste is usually paid for
according to the number of collections rather than the weight of the waste, this suggests that hospitality
businesses are likely to be paying more than they need to for their waste management.

4.3

On-site waste treatment technologies

A relatively small number of businesses (180) responded to the question regarding on-site waste treatment
technologies used to reduce the volume of material managed. Most had invested in just one technology. Figure
10 shows the proportion of respondents that utilised different on-site waste treatment technologies to manage
wastes.
Macerators (in-sink grinders that enable food waste to be flushed away to the sewer) are relatively uncommon,
with just 7% of businesses having one. Glass crushers are exceedingly rare with just 1% of businesses having
one. These technologies can be very useful at reducing storage space and potentially reducing the costs of waste
disposal and recycling.
Figure 10

Proportion of hospitality businesses that use one or more on-site waste treatment technologies

8
7
6

5
4
3
2
1
0
Macerator

Baler

Glass crusher

Compactor

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 54

4.4

Extent of recycling

Three-quarters (76%) of UK hospitality businesses claim to recycle at least one material. Recycling is most
prevalent in hotels and pubs and least common in QSR outlets (Figure 11 ).
Figure 11

Proportion of UK hospitality businesses that claim to recycle at least one material


100%

Re cycle

Do not re cycl e

80%
60%
40%
20%
0%

4.5

Hotel

Pub

QSR

Re sta urant

Re cycle

89.5%

82.8%

62.9%

69.6%

Do not re cycl e

10.5%

17.2%

37.1%

30.4%

Materials recycled

Figure 12 provides details of claimed recycling activity across the four subsectors. Perhaps unsurprisingly the
items most commonly recycled are those for which there is a greater availability of recycling services. Card and
glass are amongst the items that are most commonly recycled, while textiles and kitchen waste are least
commonly recycled. Very few businesses claimed to recycle electrical items: the results of the site audits
demonstrate that this is because these items are infrequently disposed of and, when items are replaced, it tends
to be done by a specialist contractor that deals with the waste. The level of food recycling is low across all
subsectors.54 Oil recycling was not explicitly asked about in the questionnaire; this was because oil is rarely found
in the mixed waste which was the focus of the study.
A relatively small proportion of QSRs claimed to recycle glass in comparison to the other four subsectors. A
significantly higher proportion of hotels claim to recycle their paper in comparison to the other subsectors.

54

This was also observed when visiting premises during the site audit where only 10 out of the 139 businesses audited had
food waste recycling schemes.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 55

Figure 12

Proportion of UK hospitality businesses claiming to recycle different waste streams

100%

Percentage of R espondents

80%

60%

40%

20%

0%
Paper

Cardboard

Plastic

Metal

WEEE

Glass

Textiles

Kitchen
Waste

Other

Sector Hotel

64.2%

76.3%

37.0%

25.9%

1.3%

88.3%

1.9%

9.2%

2.5%

Sector Pub

28.6%

65.4%

19.0%

19.9%

0.0%

89.6%

1.0%

3.5%

0.8%

Sector QSR

27.0%

76.5%

28.6%

21.9%

0.0%

33.2%

0.0%

3.6%

3.6%

Sector Restaurant

29.8%

63.5%

22.5%

18.3%

0.6%

78.7%

0.6%

7.6%

1.1%

Total

37.6%

69.3%

26.0%

21.3%

0.5%

77.5%

0.9%

6.1%

1.7%

4.6

Recycling services used

The most prominent mode of recycling was via a recycling service paid for directly by the business itself or by the
group to which it belonged. Notable exceptions to this were for the less commonly recycled items such as:

kitchen waste, where composting (we assume on the premises) was used by 30% of businesses claiming to
recycle food;55 and

fabrics/textiles, which were taken to a bring facility in a central car park by five of the 10 businesses that
claimed to be recycling these items.

Despite the relatively high level of claimed use of paid recycling services, a significant proportion of businesses
are utilising domestic council-provided kerbside recycling or bring sites for at least some of their recycling (see
Figure 13 ).

55

We did not ask whether composting was on or off-site, but only a very small percentage of premises had waste disposal
bins dedicated to composting so we assume that it is on-site.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 56

Figure 13

Proportion of UK hospitality businesses that recycle using council-provided bring sites or kerbside
recycling schemes for key materials56

20
18
16
Percentage

14
12
Domestic kerbside
collection

10
8

Recycling facility in car


park or other public
space

6
4
2

Fo
od

Gl

as

te

as
s

s
M
et
al

st
ics
Pl
a

rd
bo
ar
d
Ca

Pa
pe
r

Recycling stream

4.7

Barriers to recycling amongst non-recyclers

A total of 233 businesses who claimed not to be recycling were asked about the main barriers to them recycling.
The results are shown in Table 32 below. Few non-recycling businesses cant see the point of recycling.
However, 13% of businesses suggested that they had not considered recycling or it was not a priority. There
were notable differences in commitment to recycling across the four subsectors, with 16% of QSRs and
restaurants but only 4% of hotels not seeing recycling as a priority. A significant proportion of businesses
suggested that they were planning to recycle in the future. The most commonly cited barriers across the four
subsectors were a lack of recycling services in the area (29%) and space constraints (13%). QSRs (15%) and
restaurants (21%) often cited a lack of supplier collection service (e.g. for returnable, recyclable packaging)
whereas no hotels did.
Table 32

Proportion of non-recycling UK hospitality businesses citing each barrier to recycling (%)


Restaura
nts

Hotels

QSRs

38

36

22

33

29

13

10

15

15

13

No spare capacity in recycling/reuse services in my area

Can't see the point in recycling

No collection service offered by suppliers57

15

21

15

Never thought about it/other things to think about/not a priority

16

16

13

42

10

15

21

17

There are no recycling/reuse services in my area


Time constraints
Space/storage constraints

Planning to recycle in the near future

56

57

Pubs

Overall

Businesses are required by law to comply with the Duty of Care which among other things requires a transfer note to be
produced and retained. Most councils either charge businesses for using services or refer them to private companies that
provide a service. It is possible that some businesses are using council services without permission or payment. If they are
not complying with the Duty of Care they may even be using them illegally. In England and Wales Environmental Protection
(Duty of Care) Regulations 1991 SI 2839 as amended by Environmental Protection (Duty of Care) (England) (Amendment)
Regulations 2003 SI 63 and Environmental Protection (Duty of Care) (Amendment) (Wales) Regulations 2003 SI 1720; in
Northern Ireland Controlled Waste (Duty of Care) Regulations (Northern Ireland) SR 2002/271; and in Scotland Waste
Management Licensing (Scotland) Regulations SSI 2011/228.
Suppliers in this context means suppliers of food, drink and other business inputs rather than suppliers of waste
management services.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 57

4.8

Waste minimisation policies

A relatively small proportion of businesses claimed to have policies in place for waste minimisation within the
business (see Figure 14 ). An informal commitment to reducing waste was the most common type of policy in
place, with businesses in group ownership more likely to have a formal environmental policy statement.
Percentage of UK hospitality businesses with policies in place to minimise waste

30
25
20
15
10
5

Informal
commitment
to reducing
waste

Supplier take
back
programmes

Waste
management
strategy

Targets for
recycling

Environmental
policy
statement

Percentage of responses

Figure 14

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 58

5.0

Implications of the study for future research into industrial and


commercial waste

This chapter takes some key methodological questions and sets out what this research has learned in relation to
them.

5.1

Is a composition-led approach practicable?

Previous studies have focused on visual assessments of the composition of mixed waste in containers. Common
sense suggests this approach will be inaccurate because materials at the bottom of containers cannot be
assessed and the weight of lighter but more voluminous materials such as plastics can be overestimated. This
study was an attempt to develop a workable method to assess the composition of mixed waste more reliably.
Although many lessons were learned along the way, the approach has been shown to be practicable.
Importantly, the type of waste collected and hand-sorted was not too dissimilar to municipal waste, for which
there are established protocols. Standard considerations such as health and safety, sorting rates, waste analyst
requirements, days to process the waste, and material identification characteristics were found to be similar in
this project to municipal waste projects, making future planning much easier. However, three key operational
considerations have been identified as important within the context of this programme and future initiatives of
similar scope, as described below.

5.1.1 Location of the sampled businesses


On the one hand, the research needed to sample as randomly as possible within the sample framework to
ensure the results were robust. On the other, logistics demanded that businesses be clustered so that collections
could be made as cost-effectively as possible and travel distances to sorting sites minimised. Balancing these two
needs proved to be difficult.
The method adopted preferentially sampled businesses within a 50-mile radius of sort sites, but in practice this
still meant there were considerable distances between the sampled premises and the sort sites on some
occasions as much as a four-hour drive. This added cost to the project both in terms of wasted staff time spent
driving or as a passenger, and in fuel and vehicle hire costs. It also increased the environmental impact of the
study in terms of carbon emissions. Future studies may wish to consider carrying out a larger telephone survey
to maximise chances of being able to cluster businesses more tightly, or limiting the selection radius even more
to, say, 20 miles from the sort site. Alternative approaches, e.g. selecting businesses for inclusion on arrival in
the area, are not possible because the questionnaire has to be completed first and informed consent obtained.
Mirroring the approach used for household waste, where whole streets are selected for sampling, was felt to
introduce too much locational bias to the sample.
Although any approach which involves visiting sites will involve significant amounts of travelling and require
careful planning to maximise efficiencies, this is even more problematic with a full-scale composition-led
approach because of the need to collect the waste and take it to a central sorting site. This adds significant
complexity because there is limited room on the van for the waste, yet the amount of waste that will require
removal cannot be reliably estimated in advance. Although estimates of the amounts of waste that could be
expected were made based on responses to the questionnaire, in general this study found that less waste than
expected was found at sites and that more sites could therefore have been audited in a day.

5.1.2 Encouraging businesses to participate


Businesses are often difficult to engage in any type of research. A typical response rate to reasonably complex
surveys of businesses is between 10% and 20%. For this project, it was not only essential that businesses
completed a questionnaire but also that they gave informed consent to a site audit and to having their waste
removed for analysis. The survey obtained a creditable 18% response rate but only a further 18% of those
businesses that completed the telephone survey agreed to the site audit just 3% of all contacted businesses.
In retrospect, some of the reticence is thought to have been because we were unable to provide precise details
of how the audit and waste collection would happen; as the study was exploratory, the methodology was being

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 59

developed in parallel and tested through pilot exercises going on at the same time as the survey. One particular
issue that might have deterred businesses from participating was that it was still possible we would be sorting
the waste on the site of the business (this was ruled out as an option following the pilot). Once it became clear
that not enough businesses had agreed to take part in the audit, and the method had been determined,
businesses that had initially refused were re-contacted and enough of them agreed to take part. This suggests
that with better information the extent to which companies volunteer should improve.

5.1.3 Getting the timing right


An additional degree of complexity was introduced by the fact that businesses have different waste collection
days. This is important because of the need to maximise the amount of waste collected for compositional
analysis in order to ensure the sample is representative of the waste generated by each company. Often
businesses could not tell us when their normal collection was, and even when they could it was often wrong. It is
important to ensure that the scheduled collection day is sufficiently ahead of the normal collection, whilst also
ensuring as long a period as possible from the last collection day. It is also necessary to bear in mind that
collection days and times will differ across waste types within the same organisation. The optimal solution must
be worked out on a business-by-business basis and bearing in mind the need to maximise collection efficiencies
by planning a sensible route. To ensure collection days and times are as accurate as possible, it may be worth
contacting the collection contractor rather than relying on what the business says. This will evidently add cost
and time to the planning stage of any study.
The time of day when the waste is generated varied significantly not only across the four subsectors but also
across businesses within the same subsector. A Central London restaurant which sets out all of its waste in sacks
at the front of the property at 22.45 to be collected by the normal collection crew between 22.45 and 03.00 and
a restaurant in a remote village in Scotland open between 11.00 and 14.00, with the waste locked in a storage
area and collected once a fortnight, present very different challenges. It is important to know as much
information about collection times and locations in advance in order to plan effective collection routes.
For most businesses, waste is stored in a designated place where one or more waste or recycling containers are
located. For businesses which set their waste out at the end of a working day, it was straightforward to ensure
that all waste was included in the sample. It was more challenging for businesses which set their waste out
throughout the day sometimes throughout the night too and often from several different departments. For
example, large hotels generate waste from a range of activities including housekeeping, cleaning, bars,
restaurants, car parks, the lobby etc.; these different waste streams are potentially quite different in terms of
composition and each one needs to be included in the sample. Although they would all eventually be presented
at the single collection point in the central waste storage area, at any given time a container may not contain all
of the waste for that day and important waste streams may be missing. This problem is difficult to overcome
using a snapshot audit methodology such as the one used in this study. A longitudinal study would be required
to better understand the variation in the waste produced by some of these large enterprises, but this was
beyond the scope of this study. The best way that was identified to mitigate this problem was to discuss with the
on-site contact during the audit where the waste arose and to ensure that as much of it as possible was available
for sampling.

5.2

Is a composition-led approach affordable?

The method used for this study is undeniably expensive: this study cost approximately 1500 per business
audited (including all aspects of the study design, fieldwork, analysis and reporting). Some of that expense
would be avoidable in future studies because of the lessons learnt. The unavoidable expense comes from three
key factors, as outlined below.

5.2.1 The need for expertise


Several kinds of expertise are required to carry out work like this: statistical, operational, reporting and sector
knowledge. The probability is that anyone wanting to undertake this would be looking to an external contractor
or consortium to do the work, due to the very specific waste collection and sorting equipment and expertise that
is needed. Despite competitive procurement securing best value for money, this expertise does not come
cheaply.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 60

5.2.2 The size of the sample needed for the telephone survey
In order to maximise chances of having enough businesses that agree to the waste audit, a large survey sample
is required. Assuming that only 5% completing the survey will agree to a waste audit, to achieve an audit sample
of, say, 100 an achieved sample of 2000 companies will be needed in the survey. Assuming that 20% of
companies contacted will agree to be surveyed, this means a total sample of 10,000 companies. In some cases
this may be more than the whole population of businesses. Techniques that increase the likelihood of companies
agreeing, such as rewards like prize draws or provision of a report on the findings, may help.

5.2.3 The logistics of collecting and sorting waste


The logistics of a study like this are complicated and many problems arise that can not be planned for, such as
businesses cancelling at the last minute or the person who had agreed to the audit not being on-site at the time.
Effective communication with the business can minimise this. It is difficult to find sites for sorting the waste and
experience has shown that, even when they have been secured, they can fall through at the last minute. Again,
communication can minimise these problems but they are difficult to avoid all together. There will always be a
need to allow for contingencies.

5.3

Is self-reported information on quantities of waste from telephone surveys an


adequate proxy for an on-site audit?

Past experience suggests that telephone surveys are likely to be less reliable than face-to-face or audit methods.
In completing a waste survey, a face-to-face interview allows the surveyor to review available paperwork (e.g.
invoices or consignment notes) with the interviewee, allows the testing of responses (e.g. on the size of waste
collection containers) and gives less opportunity for the interviewee to cut the interview short by not reporting all
waste streams. For telephone interviews, survey fatigue introduces measurement error, as respondents are more
likely to omit or conflate waste streams and are unlikely to search out documentary evidence which is not
immediately available to them at the time of the call. Therefore, without prompting from a surveyor, telephone
survey respondents are more likely to make estimates rather than looking up figures. The social pressure needed
to extract complete and accurate information is more difficult to exert over the phone and telephone interviewers
are unable to spot omissions and inaccuracies that would be obvious if they could see the site.
There is some evidence to support this common sense view. Urban Mines reports that in one telephone survey of
waste management companies and reprocessors, for example, a good overall response rate was achieved, but in
providing their answers only 41% of respondents consulted records and less than 2% could be persuaded to
actually leave the phone to look up records. By contrast, a face-to-face survey in Wales managed to collect
record-based data for 37% of waste streams, equivalent to 91% of the total weight of the waste surveyed.
Common sense would suggest that responses based on records will be more reliable than those based on overthe-phone guesswork on the part of the respondent. In a meta-analysis of a range of studies comparing
58
telephone to face-to-face surveys, Green and Krosnick concluded that the likelihood that a respondent will
satisfice (i.e. act in such a way as to satisfy the minimum requirements for achieving a particular result) is
thought to be a function of three classes of factors: respondent ability, respondent motivation, and task
difficulty. On motivation, they also concluded that, rapport developed in face-to-face interviews inspires
respondents to work harder at providing high quality data.
Other studies also report data quality differences in the two types of survey methodology, especially if the survey
questionnaire is long or the survey subject complex. The relationship between the complexity and length of a
survey questionnaire, the effort required by the interviewee to answer questions accurately and the quality of the
data thus collected has also been studied in detail, showing that the interviewee is more likely to disengage the
59
more work he needs to do . Work has also shown that telephone respondents were more likely to give

58
59

Ohio State University (1999) Comparing telephone and face to face interviewing in terms of data quality
White, G. D. and Luo, A. (2005) Business survey response rates can they be improved? The American Statistical
Association

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 61

socially desirable responses than those involved in face-to-face interviews, e.g. yes, we do recycle.

60

It had originally been hoped that this study would be able to quantify this effect by gathering an estimate of
mixed waste from the survey and comparing this with a measured amount from the audit and waste composition
analysis. However, this proved too difficult to do.

5.4

Is useful data available from large corporate companies?

Very often data collection exercises are criticised by industry as being overly burdensome; it is asserted that data
routinely collected by businesses could be provided and would meet governments needs. This study has shown
that this is not the case, for the hospitality sector at least.
companies were very slow in responding to requests for information and had to be chased on a number of
occasions, even where data had been promised;
working with trade associations in this case the British Hospitality Association and VisitBritain did not
appear to add weight to requests; and
where data was provided, it proved difficult to combine with other datasets as it usually consisted of the
number of bins and lifts rather than a standardised weight or volume of waste.

No data from large corporate companies could be used in this study, despite much time and effort being invested
in its collection. Unless statutory requirements tighten with respect to corporate reporting, there seems to be
very limited value in trying to obtain corporate data.
This conclusion has implications for the design of the sample for future surveys. A decision was taken to avoid
corporate businesses as part of the survey on the assumption that they would be catered for in the separate
corporate data collection exercise. Because the corporate data collection initiative was unsuccessful, this study
under-represents corporate sites. This is not thought to be a major problem for this study because non-corporate
sites were similar in size and nature to corporate sites, but this may not apply in other industries.

5.5

How reliable are existing bulk density factors?

Bulk density factors have been used for many years to convert volumes of waste to weights. Their use dates
back to the 1970s when councils were obliged to carry out surveys of industrial and commercial waste as part of
the process of preparing a waste disposal plan for each county.61 No standard list existed, however, until the
Environment Agency started its survey at the end of the 1990s and it set about combining the various sets of
factors used by different councils to produce a consolidated list. Because many of these factors had not been
derived empirically but represented the best guess of professionals, in 1999 the Environmental Services
Association (ESA) and the Environment Agency commissioned a study of bulk density factors involving more than
25,000 sampling points and 48 different waste types.62 Key bulk densities of relevance to the hospitality sector
are presented below; full bulk density data from this study is presented in Appendix E. Whilst there are a
significant number of samples for the mixed waste stream, some of the bulk densities for recycling collections
are based on very small sample sizes (e.g. food recycling) and should be treated as indicative.

60

61
62

Jckle, A., Robers, C. and Lynn, P. (2006) Telephone versus face-to-face interviewing: mode effects on data quality and
likely causes ISER Working Paper 2006-41 http://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/publications/working-papers/iser/2006-41.pdf
Department of the Environment (1976) Waste Management Paper 2/3: Waste Disposal Plans DoE: London
Debenham, J.M.P. and Harker, A.P. (2002) Volume to weight conversion factors for industrial and commercial wastes
Proceedings of Waste 2002 Integrated Waste Management and Pollution Control: Research Policy and Practice. Stratford
upon Avon 24-26 September 2002, pp. 250-258

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 62

Table 33

Comparison of densities of waste measured in this study with those measured by the
ESA/Environment Agency study
This study

Waste description

ESA/Environment Agency study

Tonnes per m3

Card

0.03

Paper & card

0.08

Mixed glass
Co-mingled recycling
Food

Waste description

Tonnes per m3

Paper and/or card

0.21

0.27

Glass

0.33

0.06

N/a

0.52

Waste food animal or mixed

0.20

Mixed ferrous metal

0.26

Mixed ferrous and non-ferrous metal

0.04

Metal

0.05

Mixed plastics

0.05

Plastics and polymers

0.21

Mixed waste

0.10

Commercial waste general

0.30

The much lower bulk density recorded in this study for all materials except food waste may be attributable to the
fact that the ESA/Environment Agency data was taken from larger containers as they arrived at
treatment/disposal facilities whereas the waste from this study was typically from 1100l containers or less. Food
waste is an anomaly but may be explained by the very small sample size in our study just three companies
were found that recycled food, the minimum of which was 0.05 tonnes per m3 and the maximum of which was
1.11 tonnes per m3.
Which factors are most useful depends on the purpose they are to be used for. The ESA/Environment Agency
data is the more reliable dataset because it is based on a very large sample size. However, for assessing the
density of material found at business premises as set out for collection it is likely to overestimate the amount
of waste and therefore may not be appropriate for use in studies like this.
Using reliable and appropriate bulk density factors is critical for any survey of industrial and commercial waste.
We recommend that any future studies should collect more information on bulk densities to supplement the
information gathered as part of this project so that a databank of densities of different materials in different
circumstances can be built up.

5.6

How reliable is the approach to scaling up the results?

Because the approach to scaling up makes use of data from previous surveys, the accuracy of the estimates in
this report is heavily dependent on the quality of those other datasets. Previous national surveys have employed
different methods in terms of type of contact with the respondents (see Table 14). The Defra 2010 data that we
used to scale up mostly employed a face-to-face survey, so is arguably less prone to the problems associated
with self-reported data (see Section 5.23). The potential effect of self-reported surveying may at least partly
explain the significantly higher average amounts of waste per business that we found in provisional analysis of
the SEPA dataset when compared to the Defra data and preceding studies using the same method. For the
reasons described previously, we were unable to use Wales and Northern Ireland data that may have shed more
light on this point.
Perhaps more than other sectors of the economy, the hospitality sector is likely to be seasonal with some
businesses closed for long periods of the year. One of the key factors that this research was unable to take
account of was seasonal variations in the composition of mixed waste, both in respect of sampling over different
periods of time and of sampling in summer when seasonal businesses were most likely to be open (this research
was carried out in March). This was due to resource constraints rather than by design, and had more time and
money been available seasonality would have been incorporated. Seasonal businesses are also likely to be
located in certain geographical areas such as seaside and other tourist resorts; again this project did not sample
from those areas.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 63

Seasonality should not affect the estimates of the total amount of waste produced since these have been derived
from national data,63 but it may affect the estimates of the types of waste generated since these are based on
the compositional analysis from this study. Any future study should attempt to address this shortcoming.

63

However, it should be noted that these national surveys also sampled at specific times of year and may not have adequately
covered seasonal businesses; but the extent to which this is the case is unknown.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 64

6.0

Conclusions

6.1

Significant quantities of waste are produced by pubs, hotels, QSRs and restaurants
there is considerable scope for waste prevention and increased recycling and
recovery

6.2

Our best estimate is that in 2009, UK hotels, pubs, QSRs and restaurants
o produced just over 3.4 million tonnes of waste;
o
recycled, reused or composted just over 1.6 million tonnes or 47% of it; and
o disposed of a little under 1.5 million tonnes or 43% of it as mixed waste this has
been the focus of this study.

Of the 1.5 million tonnes of mixed waste that went for disposal:
o businesses in England produced just over 1.2 million tonnes;
o businesses in Northern Ireland produced a little over 42,000 tonnes;
o businesses in Scotland produced just under 133,000 tonnes; and
o businesses in Wales produced just over 72,000 tonnes.

78% of the mixed waste is made up of just four materials food waste (600,000 tonnes or 41%),
paper (196,000 tonnes or 13%), glass (213,000 tonnes or 14%) and card (134,000 tonnes or 9%).

Of the 600,000 tonnes of food waste in the mixed waste, 400,000 tonnes (67%) is avoidable, i.e. it
could have been eaten had it been better portioned, managed, stored and/or prepared.

One of the main opportunities for waste prevention is provided by the quantity of food waste thrown
away that is thought to be avoidable. Avoidable food waste is food that could have been eaten had it
been better portioned, managed, stored and/or prepared. It excludes inedible items such as banana
skins and apple cores:
o around 44% of waste set out for disposal from restaurants is food waste, of which
approximately 70% is avoidable; and
o between 60% and 70% of food waste in the other three subsectors is avoidable.

The introduction of waste prevention strategies will be challenging because of the need to ensure that
customers feel they are getting value for money (e.g. portion controls cannot be too tight), the shelflife of some products, and the difficulties in predicting business volumes. Although we have classified
the food waste as avoidable, commercial considerations may mean in practice it is unavoidable.
WRAPs work with the hospitality industry supply chain may help over the next few years.

Most waste goes for disposal there is considerable scope for increased recycling

Much of the waste is put out for disposal rather than recycling. Overall, just less than half of all
waste (48%) is recycled, with the following sub-sectoral breakdown:
o 62% is recycled by hotels;
o 47% is recycled by pubs;
o 55% is recycled by QSRs; and
o 39% is recycled by restaurants.

Overall, 76%
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o

of businesses claim to recycle at least one material:


78% said they recycled glass;
69% said they recycled card;
38% said they recycled paper;
26% said they recycled plastics;
21% said they recycled metals;
1% said they recycled textiles;
0.5% said they recycled WEEE items; and
2% said they recycled other materials.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry

65

6.3

6.4

Over 70% of waste currently sent for disposal could be recycled using existing markets. This
increases to 80% if we include emerging markets for materials that are currently difficult to recycle
(e.g. mixed plastics and liquid cartons).

A significant proportion of businesses suggested that they were planning to recycle in the future, but
the most commonly cited barriers to recycling were lack of services in their area (29%) and space
constraints (15%).

There were notable differences in commitment to recycling across the four subsectors, with 16% of
QSRs and restaurants but only 4% of hotels not seeing recycling as a priority.

On-site waste management is still very traditional there is considerable scope for
the introduction of new services

By far the most common method of mixed waste containment was a four-wheeled continental bin
(82%). Typically businesses have two of these bins in place and have them emptied approximately
twice a week.

Although most companies use a paid-for recycling service, the use of council-provided services is
relatively common in those businesses that said they recycle:
o paper 15% use council-provided bring sites and 10% use a domestic kerbside collection;
o card 9% use council-provided bring sites and 6% use a domestic kerbside collection;
o plastics 13% use council-provided bring sites and 7% use a domestic kerbside collection;
o metals 18% use council-provided bring sites and 9% use a domestic kerbside collection;
o glass 12% use council-provided bring sites and 5% use a domestic kerbside collection;
and
o food waste 7% use council-provided bring sites and 7% use a domestic kerbside
collection.

Few companies had invested in on-site waste treatment technologies:


o 7% used an in-sink macerator;
o 4% used a baler;
o 1% used a glass crusher; and
o 2% used a compactor.

Significant amounts of food waste are potentially available for anaerobic digestion or in-vessel
composting. Just 6% of companies said they currently compost food waste. Almost all (97%) of the
food in the mixed waste was not contained within any packaging, thereby avoiding the need for
potentially expensive de-packaging processes.

The overall approach taken by this study has proved to be effective

Although the approach experienced teething problems and had to be adapted as the research
progressed, the project has demonstrated that gathering information about commercial waste using a
method focused on the composition of mixed waste is a practical proposition. This approach is likely to
be important for sectors where mixed waste is a significant waste stream.

The approach adopted in this study involved collecting, hand-sorting and weighing the components of
mixed waste. This provided a detailed and accurate breakdown of the waste material, enabling (for
example) distinctions to be made between avoidable and unavoidable food waste and corrugated and
uncorrugated card that would be unreliable as part of a self-reporting methodology. This level of detail
may be important when considering the commercial viability of new recycling schemes, for example,
or the provision of information to help businesses prevent waste from occurring in the first place.

The approach is expensive, costing in this study approximately 1500 per audited business, although
savings could be expected in future studies because the study reported here was exploratory and
developmental.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 66

6.5

The telephone survey provided useful information but is not on its own an adequate
technique for quantifying the composition of waste

The telephone survey proved an effective method for gathering information to enable sampling of
sites for waste audit and compositional analysis.

There is a good evidence base to suggest that on-site waste audits will reduce the measurement error
associated with respondent fatigue, survey complexity or socially desirable responses that are a
feature of more remote telephone surveys.

Adopting a sampling strategy for the survey that sampled businesses in proportion to their prevalence
in each nation resulted in an inadequate sample size in Northern Ireland; in future, alternative
approaches should be considered that rely on over-sampling followed by the re-weighting of results
back to the national profile.

The survey achieved a response rate of 18%, despite the fact that it was relatively long especially for
businesses that recycled a range of waste materials. Most of the non-responses were because we
were unable to get through to the company; only 20% of the companies contacted actively declined
to answer.

Although the Caterlyst database proved an effective source of up-to-date information on businesses
within this fast-changing sector, ONS data was felt to be the most appropriate set of data for scaling
up. In future studies, one consistent data source should be used for both sampling and scaling up.
Although there are shortcomings in the ONS data, not least the lack of telephone numbers, it is felt
that using ONS data would be most appropriate.

The evidence suggests that the sample obtained for the survey was broadly representative of the
sector as a whole. Although we recognise that smaller businesses and sites that are part of corporate
groups were under-sampled, key characteristics of the sampled businesses were similar to the
hospitality sector as a whole, for example:
o
o
o
o

6.6

the majority of pubs and hotels were independently owned;


QSRs and restaurants were generally part of a group;
83% of business opened seven days a week with a further 12% opening six days a week; and
in most cases businesses operated more than 49 weeks of the year.

The logistics of collecting waste from the sites proved challenging

The logistics of collecting the waste from businesses in an unbiased way proved extremely challenging
and required significant levels of planning and resources. For example:
o relatively few businesses volunteered to take part in the audit, i.e. just 18% of those who
completed the telephone survey, which equates to 3% in total. In future studies, we would
expect higher rates of volunteering because we would be able to be clearer about what would
happen during the on-site aspect of the audit and about the minimal levels of disruption that
would be caused;
o sorting waste at the business premises including using a mobile sorting operation based out
of the back of a van proved to be out of the question due to concerns about space,
disruption and the impact on customers;
o securing a site at which the waste could be sorted was difficult, with offers of assistance being
withdrawn late in the process; in future studies, sourcing sorting sites should be the first task
and sampling based around their availability. The lack of a nearby site causes waste to travel
longer distances, increasing costs, reducing the opportunity to take more samples and
increasing the environmental impact of the study; and

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 67

6.7

ensuring that waste was collected from each site at a time when the maximum amount would
be available was very difficult, especially when a series of businesses had to be audited in one
day to maximise the amount of waste that could be collected for the budget.

The process of hand-sorting the waste was similar to the hand-sorting of municipal waste for which
established procedures exist; no significant quantities of hazardous, clinical or otherwise dangerous
wastes were found.

The hand-sorting approach has generated some new estimates of the density of waste materials as
collected. This study has confirmed that bulk density varies significantly by material type, but more
importantly that even for the same material it varies depending on the container used to dispose of
the material. The accuracy of bulk density factors is important if estimates of volume are going to be
converted into weights, as is the case with many surveys.

Opportunities for hospitality businesses

The waste estimates in this report show that there is a significant opportunity for hospitality businesses to cut
costs and reduce their environmental impact by changing their approach to waste. Hospitality suppliers, including
food manufacturers, as well as customers will also have a role to play in this process. For its part, over the
coming months WRAP will be exploring the ways in which it can help support increased waste prevention and
recycling within the industry. For more information, please visit www.wrap.org.uk/hospitality or email
hafs@wrap.org.uk.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 68

Appendix A The composition of mixed


waste in the UK nations
The four tables below provide estimates for the composition of mixed waste from hospitality businesses in each
of the four UK nations. Figures for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are based on calculations using the
average quantities of business waste taken from the Defra 2010 industrial and commercial survey for England
and ONS population numbers for each nation separately. We therefore suggest that the figures for Scotland,
Wales and Northern Ireland are considered as indicative and our best estimate with the tools we have available.
Because the following tonnages are based on the same composition data across the UK, we do not repeat the
percentages in the tables. Please see Table 23 on page 48 for this information.
Notes on tables

Dense plastic includes plastic bottles and other containers as well as hard plastic objects.
Plastic film includes single-use plastic bags and bin bags.
Miscellaneous combustible includes wood.
Miscellaneous non-combustible includes rubble.
Hazardous waste includes batteries and clinical waste and may not be hazardous in the strict legal definition
of hazardous waste.
Fines is material so small that it fell through the 10mm by 10mm sorting screen.
Liquids include liquids inside containers and cooking oils, and exclude liquids disposed of to the sink and
sewer since these were outside the scope of the work.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 69

Table 34

The composition of mixed waste (tonnes per year) disposed of by hospitality sector businesses in
England, rounded to the nearest 100 tonnes

Primary
category

Secondary category

Hotels

Newspaper/catalogues
Paper

Card

Plastic film

Total

21,000

2,900

12,100

47,600

3,200

2,000

1,500

7,800

Non-recyclable paper

11,300

35,100

8,400

52,000

106,800

Paper subtotal

24,000

59,400

13,300

65,600

162,200

Liquid cartons

300

1,700

200

800

3,000

Board packaging

5,300

34,800

5,600

37,100

82,800

Card packaging

3,500

11,300

1,700

6,900

23,400

400

1,900

100

600

2,900

Card subtotal

9,500

49,600

7,500

45,500

112,200

PET plastic bottles

1,200

3,400

700

2,400

7,800

HDPE plastic bottles

1,400

4,700

800

4,100

11,000

Other plastic bottles

800

2,100

200

1,400

4,400

Other dense plastic packaging

4,000

10,900

2,200

7,700

24,800

Other dense plastic

2,000

4,200

400

2,000

8,500

Dense plastic subtotal

9,400

25,200

4,200

17,700

56,500

Plastic film

7,200

15,500

4,100

14,700

41,500

Plastic bags

2,800

9,300

1,200

9,000

22,300

10,000

24,800

5,300

23,700

63,800

Textiles

2,000

12,000

400

4,000

18,400

Green glass bottles and jars

3,900

19,400

1,000

31,200

55,400

Clear glass bottles and jars

7,700

50,400

1,300

23,100

82,600

Brown glass bottles and jars

1,100

29,100

300

7,700

38,300

200

1,400

100

800

2,500

12,900

100,400

2,600

62,800

178,700

2,600

32,700

1,200

6,600

43,200

900

1,700

100

3,200

5,900

1,400

7,000

1,500

6,300

16,300

Other glass
Glass subtotal
Miscellaneous combustible
Miscellaneous non-combustible
Ferrous food and beverage cans
Ferrous
metal

Restaurants

1,100

Plastic film subtotal

Glass

QSRs

11,600

Paper packaging

Other card

Dense plastic

Pubs

Ferrous aerosols

100

400

<50

300

900

Other ferrous metal

900

2,100

100

2,000

5,100

Ferrous metal subtotal

2,500

9,600

1,700

8,600

22,300

Non-ferrous food and beverage cans

300

2,600

500

1,100

4,400

Foil

300

2,100

300

1,200

4,000

Non-ferrous aerosols

100

100

<50

100

200

Other non-ferrous metal

100

200

<50

700

1,000

Non-ferrous metal subtotal

700

5,000

800

3,000

9,500

WEEE

200

200

<50

1,300

1,700

Hazardous waste

100

300

400

500

1,300

3,900

10,600

2,700

1,200

18,400

1,300

2,500

2,300

5,100

11,200

Non-ferrous
metal

Garden waste
Packaged avoidable
Kitchen
(food)
waste

Fines (<10mm)
Liquids
Total

Packaged unavoidable

100

<50

<50

<50

100

Non-packaged avoidable

29,500

129,400

29,900

134,200

322,800

Non-packaged unavoidable

17,800

74,500

12,600

60,800

165,700

Kitchen waste subtotal

48,600

206,400

44,800

200,100

499,800

2,600

10,700

2,400

9,900

25,600

900

3,200

700

3,600

8,400

130,500

551,800

88,200

457,000

1,227,500

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 70

Table 35

The composition of mixed waste (tonnes per year) disposed by hospitality sector businesses in
Scotland, rounded to the nearest 100 tonnes

Primary
category

Secondary category

Hotels

Newspaper/catalogues
Paper

300

1,300

5,700

300

200

200

900

Non-recyclable paper

2,300

2,900

900

5,600

11,800

Paper subtotal

4,900

4,800

1,500

7,100

18,400

100

100

<50

100

300

1,100

2,800

600

4,000

8,600

Card packaging

700

900

200

800

2,600

Other card

100

200

<50

100

300
11,800

2,000

4,100

900

4,900

PET plastic bottles

300

300

100

300

900

HDPE plastic bottles

300

400

100

400

1,200

Other plastic bottles

200

200

<50

200

500

Other dense plastic packaging

800

900

200

800

2,800

Other dense plastic

400

300

<50

200

1,000

Dense plastic subtotal

1,900

2,100

500

1,900

6,400

Plastic film

1,500

1,300

500

1,600

4,800

600

800

100

1,000

2,400

2,100

2,000

600

2,600

7,200

400

1,000

<50

400

1,900

Plastic bags
Plastic film subtotal

Textiles
Green glass bottles and jars
Clear glass bottles and jars
Glass

Total

1,700

Card subtotal

Plastic film

Restaurants

200

Board packaging

Dense plastic

QSRs

2,400

Paper packaging

Liquid cartons

Card

Pubs

Brown glass bottles and jars


Other glass

800

1,600

100

3,400

5,900

1,600

4,100

100

2,500

8,400

200

2,400

<50

800

3,500

<50

100

<50

100

300

2,700

8,200

300

6,800

17,900

Miscellaneous combustible

500

2,700

100

700

4,100

Miscellaneous non-combustible

Glass subtotal

200

100

<50

300

700

Ferrous food and beverage cans

300

600

200

700

1,700

Ferrous aerosols

<50

<50

<50

<50

100

Other ferrous metal

200

200

<50

200

600

Ferrous metal subtotal

500

800

200

900

2,400

Non-ferrous food and beverage cans

100

200

100

100

400

Foil

100

200

<50

100

400

Non-ferrous aerosols

<50

<50

<50

<50

<50

Other non-ferrous metal

<50

<50

<50

100

100

Non-ferrous metal subtotal

100

400

100

300

1,000

WEEE

<50

<50

<50

100

200

Hazardous waste

<50

<50

<50

100

100

Garden waste

800

900

300

100

2,100

300

200

300

600

1,300

Ferrous
metal

Non-ferrous
metal

Packaged avoidable
Kitchen
(food)
waste

Packaged unavoidable
Non-packaged avoidable
Non-packaged unavoidable
Kitchen waste subtotal

Fines (<10mm)
Liquids
Total

<50

<50

<50

<50

<50

6,100

10,600

3,400

14,500

34,500

3,700

6,100

1,400

6,600

17,700

10,000

16,800

5,100

21,600

53,500

500

900

300

1,100

2,800

200

300

100

400

900

26,800

45,000

10,000

49,400

131,200

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 71

Table 36

The composition of mixed waste (tonnes per year) disposed by hospitality sector businesses in
Wales, rounded to the nearest 100 tonnes

Primary
category

Paper

Card

Dense plastic

Plastic film

Secondary category

Hotels

Newspaper/catalogues

900

Paper packaging
Non-recyclable paper

QSRs

Restaurants
600

Total

1,300

200

100

200

100

100

500

800

2,200

500

2,400

5,900

Paper subtotal

1,800

3,800

700

3,000

9,300

Liquid cartons

<50

100

<50

<50

200

Board packaging

400

2,200

300

1,700

4,600

Card packaging

300

700

100

300

1,400

Other card

<50

100

<50

<50

200

Card subtotal

700

3,200

400

2,100

6,400

PET plastic bottles

100

200

<50

100

500

HDPE plastic bottles

100

300

<50

200

600

Other plastic bottles

100

100

<50

100

300

Other dense plastic packaging

300

700

100

400

1,500

Other dense plastic

100

300

<50

100

500

Dense plastic subtotal

700

1,600

200

800

3,400

Plastic film

500

1,000

200

700

2,400

Plastic bags

200

600

100

400

1,300

Plastic film subtotal

700

1,600

300

1,100

3,700

Textiles

Glass

Pubs

2,900

100

800

<50

200

1,100

Green glass bottles and jars

300

1,200

100

1,400

3,000

Clear glass bottles and jars

600

3,200

100

1,100

4,900

Brown glass bottles and jars

100

1,900

<50

400

2,300

Other glass

<50

100

<50

<50

100

Glass subtotal

900

6,400

100

2,900

10,400

Miscellaneous combustible

200

2,100

100

300

2,700

Miscellaneous non-combustible

100

100

<50

100

300

Ferrous
metal

Non-ferrous
metal

Ferrous food and beverage cans

100

400

100

300

900

Ferrous aerosols

<50

<50

<50

<50

100

Other ferrous metal

100

100

<50

100

300

Ferrous metal subtotal

200

600

100

400

1,300

Non-ferrous food and beverage cans

<50

200

<50

<50

300

Foil

<50

100

<50

100

200

Non-ferrous aerosols

<50

<50

<50

<50

<50

Other non-ferrous metal

<50

<50

<50

<50

100

Non-ferrous metal subtotal

100

300

<50

100

600

WEEE

<50

<50

<50

100

100

Hazardous waste

<50

<50

<50

<50

100
1,200

Garden waste

Kitchen
(food)
waste

300

700

100

100

Packaged avoidable

100

200

100

200

600

Packaged unavoidable

<50

<50

<50

<50

<50

Non-packaged avoidable

2,200

8,300

1,600

6,200

18,300

Non-packaged unavoidable

1,300

4,800

700

2,800

9,600

Kitchen waste subtotal

3,600

13,200

2,500

9,300

28,500

Fines (<10mm)

200

700

100

500

1,500

Liquids

100

200

<50

200

500

9,600

35,200

4,900

21,200

70,900

Total

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 72

Table 37

The composition of mixed waste (tonnes per year) disposed by hospitality sector businesses in
Northern Ireland, rounded to the nearest 100 tonnes

Primary
category

Paper

Card

Dense plastic

Plastic film

Secondary category

Hotels

QSRs

Restaurants

Total

Newspaper/catalogues

400

500

200

Paper packaging

<50

100

100

100

300

Non-recyclable paper

400

900

500

2,300

4,000

Paper subtotal

800

1,500

700

2,900

5,900

Liquid cartons

<50

<50

<50

<50

100

Board packaging

200

900

300

1,700

3,000

Card packaging

100

300

100

300

800

Other card

<50

<50

<50

<50

100

Card subtotal

300

1,200

400

2,000

4,000

PET plastic bottle

<50

100

<50

100

300

HDPE plastic bottles

<50

100

<50

200

400

Other plastic bottles

<50

100

<50

100

100

Other dense plastic packaging

100

300

100

300

900

Other dense plastic

100

100

<50

100

300

Dense plastic subtotal

300

600

200

800

2,000

Plastic film

200

400

200

700

1,500

Plastic bags

100

200

100

400

800

Plastic film subtotal

300

600

300

1,100

2,300

100

300

<50

200

600

100

500

100

1,400

2,100

Clear glass bottles and jars

300

1,300

100

1,000

2,600

Brown glass bottles and jars

<50

700

<50

300

1,100

Other glass

<50

<50

<50

<50

100

Glass subtotal

Textiles
Green glass bottles and jars

Glass

Pubs

500

1,600

400

2,500

100

2,800

5,900

Miscellaneous combustible

100

800

100

300

1,300

Miscellaneous non-combustible

<50

<50

<50

100

200

Ferrous
metal

Non-ferrous
metal

Ferrous food and beverage cans

<50

200

100

300

600

Ferrous aerosols

<50

<50

<50

<50

<50

Other ferrous metal

<50

100

<50

100

200

Ferrous metal subtotal

100

200

100

400

800

Non-ferrous food and beverage cans

<50

100

<50

<50

100

Foil

<50

100

<50

100

100

Non-ferrous aerosols

<50

<50

<50

<50

<50

Other non-ferrous metal

<50

<50

<50

<50

<50

Non-ferrous metal subtotal

<50

100

<50

100

300

WEEE

<50

<50

<50

100

100

Hazardous waste

<50

<50

<50

<50

100
600

Garden waste

Kitchen
(food)
waste

100

300

100

100

Packaged avoidable

<50

100

100

200

500

Packaged unavoidable

<50

<50

<50

<50

<50

1,000

3,200

1,600

6,000

11,800

600

1,900

700

2,700

5,900

Non-packaged avoidable
Non-packaged unavoidable
Kitchen waste subtotal

1,600

5,100

2,400

9,000

18,200

Fines (<10mm)

100

300

100

400

900

Liquids

<50

100

<50

200

300

4,300

13,700

4,800

20,500

43,300

Total

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 73

Appendix B The composition of mixed


waste from waste audits
The following tables are based on observations from the waste audit and are not normalised to factors such as
the number of days trading, number of waste collections etc. Measures of spread around the mean (e.g.
standard deviation, standard error) are provided. This data has been included for reference for anyone planning
similar waste composition work in the future. These figures should not be used to report the percentage
composition of mixed waste from each subsector as they do not account for the variations highlighted above.
Please refer to Table 23 for annualised composition figures.
The first table below is for all mixed waste samples (i.e. combined observations of residual waste from hotels,
pubs, QSRs and restaurants). Subsequent tables then provide separate data for each subsector. The number of
samples is shown as n in all tables.

Definitions of terms and abbreviations


Mean

The arithmetic mean, i.e. the total weight of material collected divided by the number of
samples.

Standard deviation

A measure of the variation between samples of the amount of material collected.

Standard error

A measure of how well the mean calculated from the samples represents the population
calculated from the standard deviation and the number of samples analysed; if the
sampling were repeated many times and the mean calculated from these samples, 95% of
these sample means would be within two standard errors of the population mean.

Minimum

The lowest observed value of the sample.

Maximum

The highest observed value of the sample.

Median

The middle value if all values were to be placed in order; in addition to the mean, the
median is a useful measure of the average for distributions that are not symmetrical.

95% upper and


lower confidence
interval (CI)

If the sampling were repeated many times and the mean calculated, it would be expected
that 19 times out of 20 (i.e. in 95% of instances), the mean would fall within the 95% CI;
the CI interval is made up of the upper bound (the mean plus twice the standard error)
and the lower bound (the mean minus twice the standard error).

Abbreviation for number of samples included in the analysis.

PET

Polyethylene terephthalate the plastic used for bottles such as fizzy drink bottles.

HDPE

High-density polyethylene the plastic used for bottles such as milk bottles.

WEEE

Waste electrical and electronic equipment.

Residual waste

Mixed waste set out for disposal i.e. what is left over (the residue) once all waste for
recycling is taken out.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 74

Plastic film

95% upper
confidence
limit

0.55

0.00

35.08

2.95

3.98

6.13

2.56

0.22

0.00

19.48

0.20

0.68

1.54

9.95

7.68

0.66

0.00

56.25

8.51

8.66

11.24

16.11

10.00

0.86

0.00

59.66

15.12

14.43

17.80

Liquid cartons

0.39

0.79

0.07

0.00

6.22

0.13

0.25

0.52

Board packaging

6.60

8.38

0.72

0.00

40.35

3.25

5.19

8.01

Card packaging

2.27

2.95

0.25

0.00

21.93

1.66

1.77

2.76

Other card

0.26

1.10

0.09

0.00

9.36

0.00

0.07

0.44

Subtotal

9.51

8.90

0.76

0.60

49.13

6.57

8.02

11.01

PET plastic bottles

0.92

1.24

0.11

0.00

9.55

0.57

0.71

1.12

HDPE plastic bottles

2.81

3.62

0.31

0.00

25.76

1.81

2.20

3.42

Other plastic bottles

0.67

1.14

0.10

0.00

6.87

0.24

0.48

0.86

Other dense plastic packaging

0.40

0.97

0.08

0.00

7.39

0.00

0.23

0.56

Other dense plastic

1.18

2.20

0.19

0.00

17.82

0.60

0.81

1.55

Subtotal

5.97

5.07

0.44

0.21

31.38

4.62

5.11

6.82

Plastic film

4.78

3.10

0.27

0.59

16.21

3.90

4.25

5.30

Plastic bags

1.84

1.61

0.14

0.00

6.51

1.49

1.57

2.11

Subtotal

6.61

3.42

0.29

1.31

16.49

5.80

6.04

7.19

Subtotal

Dense plastic

95% lower
confidence
limit

6.39

1.11

Median

5.05

Paper packaging
Non-recyclable paper

Card

Maximum

Newspaper/catalogues

Secondary category

Minimum

Standard
error

Paper

Standard
deviation

Primary
category

Detailed average waste composition for all mixed waste samples (%) (n=136) not scaled up

Mean

Table 38

Textiles

1.22

2.59

0.22

0.00

20.29

0.21

0.78

1.65

Green glass bottles and jars

2.66

5.54

0.48

0.00

34.05

0.10

1.72

3.59

Clear glass bottles and jars

4.17

7.08

0.61

0.00

37.63

1.23

2.98

5.36

Brown glass bottles and jars

1.94

5.57

0.48

0.00

32.74

0.00

1.00

2.88

Other glass

0.17

0.71

0.06

0.00

6.91

0.00

0.05

0.29

Subtotal

8.93

15.22

1.31

0.00

82.38

2.52

6.37

11.49

Miscellaneous combustible

2.58

6.99

0.60

0.00

58.02

1.07

1.40

3.76

Miscellaneous non-combustible

0.59

1.72

0.15

0.00

14.11

0.00

0.30

0.88

Ferrous food and beverage cans

1.51

1.96

0.17

0.00

10.00

0.82

1.18

1.84

Ferrous aerosols

0.17

0.74

0.06

0.00

5.46

0.00

0.04

0.29

Other ferrous metal

0.37

0.65

0.06

0.00

3.82

0.11

0.26

0.48

Subtotal

2.05

2.20

0.19

0.00

10.00

1.23

1.68

2.42

Non-ferrous food and beverage cans

0.41

0.75

0.06

0.00

5.27

0.14

0.28

0.53

Foil

0.36

0.66

0.06

0.00

5.89

0.16

0.25

0.47

Non-ferrous aerosols

0.04

0.25

0.02

0.00

2.84

0.00

0.00

0.08

Other non-ferrous metal

0.06

0.21

0.02

0.00

1.59

0.00

0.02

0.09

Subtotal

0.86

1.02

0.09

0.00

5.89

0.55

0.69

1.03

WEEE

0.23

1.28

0.11

0.00

11.39

0.00

0.01

0.44

Hazardous waste, batteries and clinical waste

0.36

3.39

0.29

0.00

39.36

0.00

-0.21

0.93

Garden waste

1.36

5.88

0.50

0.00

59.62

0.00

0.37

2.35

1.68

4.41

0.38

0.00

33.69

0.00

0.94

2.43

Glass

Ferrous metal

Non-ferrous
metal

Kitchen (food)
waste

Packaged avoidable
Packaged unavoidable

0.00

0.03

0.00

0.00

0.37

0.00

0.00

0.01

Non-packaged avoidable

25.88

17.98

1.54

0.00

81.28

22.42

22.86

28.91

Non-packaged unavoidable

13.17

13.04

1.12

0.00

58.31

9.34

10.98

15.37

Subtotal

40.74

19.70

1.69

0.00

85.26

42.12

37.43

44.06

Fines (<10mm)

2.24

2.88

0.25

0.00

14.47

1.47

1.75

2.72

Liquids

0.64

1.29

0.11

0.00

7.92

0.00

0.42

0.86

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 75

95% upper
confidence
limit

0.97

0.00

22.74

8.14

6.53

10.34

1.01

0.17

0.00

4.72

0.23

0.27

0.94

Non-recyclable paper

9.65

5.57

0.94

0.00

29.14

10.04

7.80

11.49

18.69

8.44

1.43

2.16

39.69

17.00

15.89

21.49

Liquid cartons

0.42

0.55

0.09

0.00

2.39

0.21

0.24

0.60

Board packaging

4.69

6.69

1.13

0.00

29.02

1.88

2.48

6.91

Card packaging

3.12

4.09

0.69

0.00

21.93

2.18

1.77

4.48

Other card

0.34

1.26

0.21

0.00

7.31

0.00

-0.08

0.76

Subtotal

8.58

9.32

1.57

0.90

49.13

6.53

5.49

11.67

PET plastic bottles

1.28

1.74

0.29

0.05

9.55

0.81

0.71

1.86

HDPE plastic bottles

3.00

2.36

0.40

0.57

12.19

2.41

2.22

3.79

Other plastic bottles

0.99

1.56

0.26

0.00

6.87

0.49

0.48

1.51

Other dense plastic packaging

0.45

0.72

0.12

0.00

3.45

0.22

0.21

0.69

Other dense plastic

1.15

1.10

0.19

0.00

4.21

0.81

0.79

1.52

Subtotal

6.88

4.41

0.75

1.53

20.74

5.55

5.42

8.35

Plastic film

5.41

2.78

0.47

1.31

11.99

4.80

4.49

6.33

Plastic bags

2.01

1.70

0.29

0.00

6.51

2.02

1.45

2.58

Subtotal

7.43

2.96

0.50

1.31

14.69

7.37

6.44

8.41

1.58

2.26

0.38

0.00

9.35

0.72

0.83

2.33

Green glass bottles and jars

2.88

6.69

1.13

0.00

34.05

0.73

0.66

5.10

Clear glass bottles and jars

4.20

6.19

1.05

0.00

34.41

2.73

2.15

6.25

Subtotal
Card

Dense plastic

Plastic film

Textiles

Glass

Median

5.74

0.61

Maximum

8.44

Paper packaging

Minimum

Newspaper/catalogues

Standard
error

95% lower
confidence
limit

Paper

Secondary category

Standard
deviation

Primary
category

Detailed average waste composition breakdown for hotel mixed waste samples (%) (n=35) not
scaled up

Mean

Table 39

Brown glass bottles and jars

0.84

2.38

0.40

0.00

13.92

0.00

0.05

1.63

Other glass

0.10

0.29

0.05

0.00

1.34

0.00

0.01

0.20

Subtotal

8.02

14.22

2.40

0.00

82.38

4.55

3.31

12.74

Miscellaneous combustible

2.22

2.05

0.35

0.00

9.00

1.97

1.54

2.90

Miscellaneous non-combustible

0.61

1.47

0.25

0.00

6.96

0.00

0.12

1.10

Ferrous food and beverage cans

1.24

1.54

0.26

0.00

8.51

0.83

0.73

1.75

Ferrous aerosols

0.20

0.81

0.14

0.00

4.77

0.00

-0.06

0.47

Other ferrous metal

0.56

0.72

0.12

0.00

3.02

0.28

0.32

0.80

Subtotal

2.00

1.81

0.31

0.00

8.51

1.58

1.40

2.60

Non-ferrous food and beverage cans

0.26

0.34

0.06

0.00

1.85

0.16

0.15

0.37

Foil

0.44

0.56

0.09

0.00

2.61

0.24

0.25

0.62

Non-ferrous aerosols

0.04

0.09

0.02

0.00

0.47

0.00

0.01

0.07

Other non-ferrous metal

0.07

0.27

0.05

0.00

1.59

0.00

-0.02

0.16

Subtotal

0.81

0.64

0.11

0.06

2.92

0.66

0.59

1.02

WEEE

0.25

0.90

0.15

0.00

4.99

0.00

-0.05

0.55

Hazardous waste, batteries and clinical waste

0.08

0.26

0.04

0.00

1.40

0.00

0.00

0.17

Garden waste

2.45

10.33

1.75

0.00

59.62

0.00

-0.98

5.87

Packaged avoidable

1.66

3.40

0.57

0.00

18.24

0.51

0.54

2.79

Packaged unavoidable

0.01

0.06

0.01

0.00

0.37

0.00

-0.01

0.03

Non-packaged avoidable

22.15

9.67

1.63

3.18

40.36

22.65

18.95

25.36

Non-packaged unavoidable

14.24

10.80

1.83

0.00

49.63

13.47

10.66

17.82

Subtotal

Ferrous metal

Non-ferrous
metal

Kitchen (food)
waste

38.07

16.27

2.75

3.18

72.56

39.79

32.67

43.46

Fines (<10mm)

1.58

1.54

0.26

0.00

6.31

1.35

1.07

2.09

Liquids

0.75

1.32

0.22

0.00

5.08

0.00

0.31

1.19

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 76

95% upper
confidence
limit
0.33

11.26

3.89

59.66

9.61

16.88

8.31

0.00

5.01

0.11

0.81

0.09

1.43

0.00

37.05

3.21

8.56

2.95

0.55

0.00

14.73

1.67

3.50

1.36

1.75

0.32

0.00

9.36

0.00

1.17

-0.10

9.17

8.20

1.52

0.60

40.47

5.76

12.15

6.18

PET plastic bottles

0.65

0.65

0.12

0.00

2.38

0.42

0.89

0.42

HDPE plastic bottles

2.34

2.40

0.45

0.00

11.23

1.63

3.22

1.47

Other plastic bottles

0.72

0.89

0.17

0.00

2.87

0.45

1.04

0.40

Other dense plastic packaging

0.51

1.36

0.25

0.00

7.39

0.00

1.01

0.02

Other dense plastic

1.21

2.85

0.53

0.00

15.68

0.64

2.25

0.17

Subtotal

5.44

3.93

0.73

1.15

18.05

4.07

6.87

4.01

Plastic film

3.24

1.91

0.36

0.85

7.87

3.40

3.94

2.54

Plastic bags

1.96

1.67

0.31

0.00

5.53

1.26

2.57

1.36

Subtotal

5.21

2.89

0.54

1.37

13.40

4.35

6.26

4.15

Textiles

2.03

4.17

0.78

0.00

20.29

0.31

3.55

0.51

Subtotal

2.03

4.17

0.78

0.00

20.29

0.31

3.55

0.51

Green glass bottles and jars

2.77

4.15

0.77

0.00

12.79

0.81

4.29

1.26

Clear glass bottles and jars

8.32

11.12

2.07

0.00

37.63

2.64

12.37

4.27

Brown glass bottles and jars

5.06

9.75

1.81

0.00

32.74

0.00

8.61

1.50

Other glass

0.16

0.64

0.12

0.00

3.33

0.00

0.39

-0.07

1.00

0.00

Paper packaging
Non-recyclable paper

0.74

1.12

0.21

7.57

10.11

1.88

12.59

11.75

Liquid cartons

0.45

25.10

3.41

0.00

4.11

0.00

56.25

2.18

0.00

0.99

0.18

Board packaging
Card packaging

5.75

7.69

2.43

2.94

Other card

0.53

Subtotal

Subtotal

Card

Dense plastic

Plastic film

Textiles

Glass

Median

1.15

6.04

5.38

Maximum

0.21

4.28

Minimum

2.32

Newspaper/catalogues

Standard
error

95% lower
confidence
limit

Paper

6.24

Secondary category

Standard
deviation

Primary
category

Detailed average waste composition breakdown for pub mixed waste samples (%) (n=29) not
scaled up

Mean

Table 40

16.31

21.64

4.02

0.00

68.36

3.59

24.20

8.43

Miscellaneous combustible

Subtotal

4.86

10.82

2.01

0.00

58.02

1.64

8.80

0.92

Miscellaneous non-combustible

0.09

0.45

0.98

0.18

0.00

3.83

0.00

0.81

Ferrous food and beverage cans

1.39

1.41

0.26

0.00

5.50

0.95

1.91

0.88

Ferrous aerosols

0.29

1.08

0.20

0.00

5.46

0.00

0.68

-0.10

Other ferrous metal

0.41

0.74

0.14

0.00

3.82

0.16

0.68

0.14

Subtotal

2.09

1.92

0.36

0.00

9.26

1.68

2.79

1.39

Non-ferrous food and beverage cans

0.66

1.20

0.22

0.00

5.27

0.13

1.10

0.22

Foil

0.52

1.14

0.21

0.00

5.89

0.16

0.94

0.10

Non-ferrous aerosols

0.11

0.53

0.10

0.00

2.84

0.00

0.30

-0.09

Other non-ferrous metal

0.04

0.13

0.02

0.00

0.66

0.00

0.09

-0.01

Subtotal

1.33

1.62

0.30

0.00

5.89

0.53

1.92

0.74

WEEE

0.30

1.50

0.28

0.00

8.09

0.00

0.84

-0.25

Hazardous waste, batteries and clinical waste

0.05

0.16

0.03

0.00

0.75

0.00

0.11

-0.01

Garden waste

1.64

3.32

0.62

0.00

13.89

0.00

2.85

0.43

Packaged avoidable

0.46

1.00

0.19

0.00

4.99

0.00

0.82

0.09

Packaged unavoidable

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

Non-packaged avoidable

22.75

22.76

4.23

0.00

74.09

14.04

31.04

14.46

Non-packaged unavoidable

12.70

15.69

2.91

0.00

54.95

7.87

18.42

6.99

Subtotal

Ferrous metal

Non-ferrous
metal

Kitchen waste

35.91

25.60

4.75

0.06

75.72

28.14

45.24

26.59

Fines (<10mm)

2.12

3.19

0.59

0.00

14.47

0.86

3.29

0.96

Liquids

0.49

0.84

0.16

0.00

3.76

0.00

0.80

0.19

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 77

Card

Dense plastic

Plastic film

Textiles

Glass

1.42

0.00

35.08

95% upper
confidence
limit

8.04

95% lower
confidence
limit

Maximum

4.23

Median

Paper packaging

Minimum

Newspaper/catalogues
Paper

Standard
error

Secondary category

Standard
deviation

Primary
category

Detailed average waste composition breakdown for QSR mixed waste samples (%) (n=32) not
scaled up

Mean

Table 41

1.73

7.02

1.45
1.10

2.30

3.45

0.61

0.00

11.02

0.95

3.49

Non-recyclable paper

11.05

6.66

1.18

0.25

26.60

9.31

13.36

8.74

Subtotal

17.58

10.94

1.93

0.25

49.84

16.92

21.38

13.79

Liquid cartons

0.31

0.45

0.08

0.00

1.73

0.09

0.47

0.16

Board packaging

6.39

8.34

1.47

0.00

33.92

3.09

9.28

3.49

Card packaging

2.19

2.80

0.50

0.00

12.37

1.49

3.16

1.21

Other card

0.12

0.68

0.12

0.00

3.85

0.00

0.36

-0.11

Subtotal

9.01

8.09

1.43

0.71

34.13

5.30

11.81

6.20

PET plastic bottles

1.15

1.23

0.22

0.00

5.21

0.89

1.58

0.72

HDPE plastic bottles

3.44

5.79

1.02

0.00

25.76

1.79

5.45

1.44

Other plastic bottles

0.66

1.12

0.20

0.00

5.57

0.24

1.05

0.27

Other dense plastic packaging

0.23

0.50

0.09

0.00

2.50

0.00

0.40

0.05

Other dense plastic

1.61

3.30

0.58

0.00

17.82

0.51

2.76

0.47

Subtotal

7.10

7.22

1.28

0.67

31.38

5.01

9.60

4.59

Plastic film

6.51

4.23

0.75

1.36

16.21

4.80

7.97

5.04

Plastic bags

1.41

1.27

0.23

0.00

4.87

1.33

1.85

0.96

Subtotal

7.91

4.20

0.74

2.50

16.48

6.67

9.37

6.46

Textiles

0.58

1.21

0.21

0.00

5.48

0.01

1.00

0.16

Subtotal

0.58

1.21

0.21

0.00

5.48

0.01

1.00

0.16

Green glass bottles and jars

0.42

1.81

0.32

0.00

10.06

0.00

1.04

-0.21

Clear glass bottles and jars

1.05

1.77

0.31

0.00

6.17

0.09

1.67

0.44

Brown glass bottles and jars

0.29

0.79

0.14

0.00

4.00

0.00

0.56

0.02

Other glass

0.23

1.22

0.22

0.00

6.91

0.00

0.66

-0.19

Subtotal

1.99

3.61

0.64

0.00

17.88

0.59

3.25

0.74

Miscellaneous combustible

2.25

9.50

1.68

0.00

54.09

0.24

5.54

-1.05

Miscellaneous non-combustible

0.04

0.13

0.26

0.05

0.00

0.90

0.00

0.22

Ferrous food and beverage cans

1.72

2.51

0.44

0.00

10.00

0.67

2.60

0.85

Ferrous aerosols

0.03

0.12

0.02

0.00

0.69

0.00

0.07

-0.02

Other ferrous metal

0.14

0.45

0.08

0.00

2.15

0.00

0.30

-0.02

Subtotal

1.89

2.63

0.47

0.00

10.00

0.67

2.81

0.98

Non-ferrous food and beverage cans

0.48

0.61

0.11

0.00

2.22

0.26

0.69

0.27

Foil

0.24

0.40

0.07

0.00

1.76

0.05

0.38

0.10

Non-ferrous aerosols

0.01

0.08

0.01

0.00

0.47

0.00

0.04

-0.01

Other non-ferrous metal

0.04

0.18

0.03

0.00

0.99

0.00

0.10

-0.02

Subtotal

0.77

0.70

0.12

0.00

2.22

0.62

1.01

0.52

WEEE

0.04

0.21

0.04

0.00

1.18

0.00

0.11

-0.04

Hazardous waste, batteries and clinical waste

0.14

0.77

0.14

0.00

4.37

0.00

0.41

-0.13

Garden waste

1.42

4.41

0.78

0.00

20.11

0.00

2.95

-0.11

Packaged avoidable

3.42

5.51

0.97

0.00

21.37

0.91

5.33

1.51

Packaged unavoidable

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

Non-packaged avoidable

26.55

21.06

3.72

0.00

81.28

21.95

33.86

19.25

Non-packaged unavoidable

15.43

15.44

2.73

0.00

58.31

11.56

20.79

10.08

Subtotal

Ferrous metal

Non-ferrous
metal

Kitchen
waste

45.40

17.38

3.07

14.65

85.26

45.81

51.43

39.37

Fines (<10mm)

2.91

3.70

0.65

0.00

14.45

1.63

4.19

1.63

Liquids

0.88

1.69

0.30

0.00

7.92

0.00

1.47

0.29

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 78

Paper

95% upper
confidence
limit

95% lower
confidence
limit

Median

Maximum

Minimum

Standard
error

Secondary category

Standard
deviation

Primary
category

Detailed average waste composition breakdown for restaurant mixed waste samples (%) (n=42)
not scaled up

Mean

Table 42

Newspaper/catalogues

3.31

5.10

0.81

0.00

27.91

1.87

4.89

1.73

Paper packaging

0.87

3.13

0.50

0.00

19.48

0.01

1.84

-0.10

Non-recyclable paper

11.06

7.86

1.24

0.00

27.91

9.97

13.50

8.62

Subtotal

15.24

8.49

1.34

0.00

32.40

15.68

17.87

12.60

Liquid cartons

0.37

1.01

0.16

0.00

6.22

0.08

0.68

0.06

Board packaging

9.07

9.80

1.55

0.00

40.35

6.35

12.11

6.03

Card packaging

1.46

1.35

0.21

0.00

5.84

1.15

1.88

1.04

Other card

0.09

0.37

0.06

0.00

2.27

0.00

0.20

-0.03

10.98

9.73

1.54

0.62

40.35

8.14

14.00

7.97

PET plastic bottles

0.59

0.93

0.15

0.00

4.22

0.28

0.88

0.31

HDPE plastic bottles

2.46

3.00

0.47

0.00

15.10

1.52

3.39

1.53

Other plastic bottles

0.36

0.80

0.13

0.00

4.76

0.16

0.61

0.11

Other dense plastic packaging

0.40

1.10

0.17

0.00

5.96

0.00

0.74

0.06

Other dense plastic

0.83

0.97

0.15

0.00

4.35

0.53

1.13

0.52

Subtotal

4.64

3.98

0.63

0.21

19.21

3.44

5.88

3.41

Plastic film

3.94

2.11

0.33

0.59

12.13

3.79

4.60

3.29

Plastic bags

1.94

1.72

0.27

0.00

6.21

1.53

2.47

1.40

Subtotal

5.88

2.96

0.47

1.54

16.49

5.37

6.80

4.96

Textiles

0.81

2.01

0.32

0.00

10.53

0.12

1.43

0.18

Subtotal

0.81

2.01

0.32

0.00

10.53

0.12

1.43

0.18

Green glass bottles and jars

4.16

6.78

1.07

0.00

26.36

0.45

6.27

2.06

Clear glass bottles and jars

3.62

5.24

0.83

0.00

21.21

0.71

5.24

1.99

Brown glass bottles and jars

1.97

4.80

0.76

0.00

26.29

0.06

3.45

0.48

Other glass

0.18

0.44

0.07

0.00

1.62

0.00

0.31

0.04

Subtotal

9.93

14.06

2.22

0.00

54.97

2.65

14.29

5.57

Miscellaneous combustible

1.51

2.15

0.34

0.00

10.96

0.65

2.17

0.84

Miscellaneous non-combustible

1.04

2.69

0.42

0.00

14.11

0.05

1.87

0.20

Ferrous food and beverage cans

1.67

2.15

0.34

0.00

9.44

0.94

2.34

1.00

Ferrous aerosols

0.16

0.69

0.11

0.00

4.33

0.00

0.37

-0.06

Other ferrous metal

0.36

0.62

0.10

0.00

3.23

0.13

0.55

0.17

Subtotal

2.19

2.40

0.38

0.00

9.44

1.31

2.94

1.45

Non-ferrous food and beverage cans

0.30

0.66

0.10

0.00

3.64

0.06

0.50

0.09

Foil

0.27

0.39

0.06

0.00

1.54

0.11

0.39

0.15

Non-ferrous aerosols

0.01

0.03

0.00

0.00

0.18

0.00

0.01

0.00

Other non-ferrous metal

0.07

0.21

0.03

0.00

0.91

0.00

0.14

0.01

Subtotal

0.64

0.85

0.13

0.00

3.95

0.36

0.90

0.38

WEEE

0.30

1.80

0.28

0.00

11.39

0.00

0.86

-0.25

Hazardous waste, batteries and clinical waste

1.01

6.22

0.98

0.00

39.36

0.00

2.94

-0.92

Garden waste

0.15

0.75

0.12

0.00

4.75

0.00

0.38

-0.08

Packaged avoidable

1.21

5.34

0.84

0.00

33.69

0.00

2.87

-0.45

Packaged unavoidable

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

Non-packaged avoidable

30.89

16.35

2.59

0.00

64.54

28.16

35.96

25.81

Non-packaged unavoidable

10.77

10.46

1.65

0.00

46.67

6.88

14.01

7.52

Subtotal

42.86

18.85

2.98

0.00

74.38

46.12

48.71

37.01

Fines (<10mm)

2.35

2.78

0.44

0.00

12.34

1.58

3.22

1.49

Liquids

0.46

1.15

0.18

0.00

5.34

0.00

0.82

0.11

Card

Subtotal

Dense plastic

Plastic film

Textiles

Glass

Ferrous metal

Non-ferrous
metal

Kitchen
waste

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 79

Appendix C Example of waste audit map

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 80

Appendix D Corporate waste survey


Introduction
A small number of corporate brands dominate the hospitality sector. The biggest players in the accommodation
sector are: Whitbread (518 hotels), InterContinental Hotels Group (256 hotels), Travelodge (333 hotels), Accor
(130 hotels), Hilton (71 hotels), Marriott (52 hotels) and Wyndham (trading as Ramada in the UK 107 hotels).
Within the pub sector, around 10 corporate brands dominate. These are supplemented by a range of
management companies (e.g. BDL), which build and operate hotels, pubs etc. on their behalf.
In many of these organisations, the head office makes arrangements for waste collection on behalf of individual
sites. The aim of this part of the project was to capture waste management data from head offices, rather than
approaching individual premises. It was initially hoped that corporate businesses (i.e. those with over 100
outlets) would provide a mass of useful data that could be incorporated into the project.

Approach
A list of hospitality businesses with more than 100 individual units operated on a management, franchise or
tenancy basis was drawn down from the Caterlyst database. This contained 52 businesses, including three
duplicate records. Further businesses were added to the list from CESHIs contact database. These were selected
either because:
they were known to collect waste data at corporate level; or
they had contributed data about environmental/Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) performance to
previous projects; or
they were a member of an association such as the Considerate Hoteliers Association and known to be
monitoring their waste to a greater or lesser extent.

In total, 62 businesses were contacted and subdivided between the subsectors as shown in Table 43. Each
business was approached by e-mail and/or telephone call to a known contact where details were available, over
a period of four to six months. E-mails were followed up by a minimum of three telephone calls to each listed
business.
The information requested from all sectors was as follows:
volume or weight of waste disposed of by each unit. It was made clear in the request for information that
this data may not be available for every unit, but for those where data exists (e.g. wholly owned units) this
data could be in the form of waste bills or as recorded on an internal system such as a spreadsheet;
the above data broken down by waste sent to landfill and waste sent for recycling (specifying which materials
are recycled);
any data collected on the volume or composition of waste this data could be in the form of bin size and
number of collections per week per unit; and
any other data, e.g. data from any waste audit carried out in the last three years.

Specific data was also requested from the hotel sector as follows:

the size of hotel, the number of rooms, occupancy and any conference or banqueting facilities; and
waste generated per guest night.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry

81

Results
In total, 15 companies responded to the request for information as illustrated in Table 43.
Table 43

Responses from companies to requests for corporate data

Response

Hotels

Pubs

QSRs

Restaurants

Total

Data provided

15

Data refused

Date not available

10

No response to contact

10

15

34

Total

18

30

62

Of the datasets provided, five are not included in this summary. This is because the variety of data collection
methods means that the corporate datasets could not be compared, even at a high level based on averages. In
total, 10 business datasets representing 3161 properties were reviewed but only that relating to 3115 units could
be used. Table 44 provides information about the waste datasets that were analysed.
Table 44
Sector
Hotels

Datasets used in the analysis by waste stream


No.
units

Total
sets

Mixed

Card

Glass

Paper

Fluorescent
tubes

WEEE

539

Pubs

1807

QSRs

769

3115

10

Restaurants
Total

The data for each subsector comprised the following:


Hotels
quarterly/annual tonnage for general waste and different recyclable streams for each hotel in the group; and
annual tonnage for all hotel sites mixed waste and two recyclable streams.
Pubs and QSRs
the size of bins;
the number of bins per site; and
the number of lifts per bin per site per week.
Some businesses, mainly hotels, were able to provide additional data on the following:
annual tonnage of mixed waste and recycling;
number of customers and occupancy levels;
bin weight estimates; and
estimates for the weight of compacted waste.

Analysis
It should be noted when reading the following analysis that the quality of data provided was variable and that
the data itself was gathered via a range of collection methods. There are also likely to be significant variances in
some of the datasets that are caused by the fact that some businesses in the dataset recycle whilst others do
not. These differences cannot be shown for individual business units, but will impact on fill levels for bins and
weights (where weight data is provided) for those businesses that recycle.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 82

For most of the datasets, only bin size and frequency of collection was available, with no data on the fill levels of
the bins from which to validate the data. For some datasets, information on bin weights was available, but no
data on variables within individual units that may affect weights (e.g. access to recycling facilities) was collated.
The calculations of waste volume below are based on bins being 100% full on collection. Clearly, this is unlikely
and the waste volumes stated in this section are likely to be an overstatement of the actual waste production
characteristics.
Waste volume and weight
Data from two hotel groups (one five-star and one budget chain) was entered into the analysis, representing 539
units and broken down as shown in Table 45.
Hotels residual waste and recycling (mean tonnes per year and number of premises)

Table 45

Mixed

Glass

Card

Paper

Fluorescent
tubes

WEEE

Hotel
group 11

Mean tonnes per year

201

66

14

10

<1

Number of premises

58

25

24

10

12

Hotel
group 22

Mean tonnes per year

53

23

10

Number of premises

481

481

481

1. Data collected via waste contractor different recycling contractor for some hotels means that recycling data is incomplete.
2. Data collection method unknown.

The data from group 1 (the five-star group) does not truly reflect the groups waste generation/recycling
patterns. However, it is believed to be more reliable than some other datasets obtained from corporate
businesses. The data source is a private sector waste management company that offers waste management to
hotels. However, this company does not always offer a full range of waste management options; for example,
they may be responsible for general waste collection, while another waste management contractor collects
recyclable materials.
Data from five pub groups was entered into the analysis, representing 1807 units. Of these, 524 had a glass
recycling scheme and 417 a card scheme. Weight data was not available but the estimated average bin volume
per unit is shown in Table 46.
Pubs waste collection schemes, average bin volumes (litres per unit per week1)

Table 46

Residual

Glass

Card

Pub group 1

5956

1730

2021

Pub group 2

5080

Pub group 33

5049

1040

812

Pub group 43

2549

5317

1479

2089

Pub group 5

1. Conversion factor from litres to kg/tonnes not currently available.


2. Managed estate number of bins, sizes and lifts per week provided (two different contractors).
3. Tenanted, leased and some managed pubs number of bins, sizes and lifts per week provided.

The total volume of waste produced by the pubs was around 10,000m3 per week, with an average of 5.6m3 per
establishment. It must be noted that only three of the pub groups provided data on recycled materials and
therefore we should assume that the data from those who did not provide recycling data represents mixed waste
including materials which could be recycled.
Data from three QSR groups (fast food menu, coffee shop and sandwich shop) were entered into the analysis,
representing 769 units broken down as shown in Table 47.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 83

QSRs residual waste and recycling

Table 47

Average
volume
(litres/site/
week1)
QSR group 12

4417

QSR group 2

QSR group 3

Mixed waste
(tonnes/
year)

Recycling
(tonnes/
year)

0.85

0.35

62.5

1. Conversion factor from litres to kg/tonnes not available for mixed waste.
2. Number of bins, sizes and lifts per week provided weights based on averages from UK-wide weight trials.
3. Data collection method unknown.

Conclusions
The waste data collected by hospitality businesses varied widely and generally consisted of the number of bins
and lifts rather than the actual weight or volume of waste. This variation meant that the available data did not
lend itself to use in the current study.
The lesson learnt from the corporate survey was that gathering data from large corporate businesses is not a
quick solution to gaining a large amount of analysable data. It would also appear that a number of corporate
businesses do not collect waste data at all. When data is collected, a significant amount of time is needed to
work with the corporate sector not only to obtain data but also to standardise the data before any analysis can
be conducted.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 84

Appendix E - Bulk density data


The on-site waste audits described in Section 2.5 produced a set of bulk densities for different types of waste
(e.g. mixed waste, card and paper) and the container types they were held in at the sampled businesses. Table
48 below summarises the bulk densities obtained by the sampling and weighing of waste during the audits.
Whilst there are a significant number of samples for the mixed (residual) waste, sample sizes for some of the
recycling collections are very small (e.g. for food recycling) and should be treated as indicative only.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry

85

Table 48

Waste
type
Residual
waste
(mixed
waste for
disposal)

Clear glass
for recycling

Co-mingled
recyclables

Food

Metal for
recycling

Average bulk density of waste samples, by waste stream type and container (densities can be
expressed as tonnes/m3 or kg/litre)
Data
Number of samples

Mixed
plastic64 for
recycling

Paper &
card for
recycling

Card for
recycling

64

4-wheeled
bin

Sacks

Skip, with
compactor

Skip,
without
compactor

Other
container

21

87

10

Overall
125

Average

0.11

0.10

0.10

0.15

0.13

0.10

Maximum

0.26

0.29

0.21

0.28

0.29

Minimum

0.04

0.01

0.04

0.05

0.01

Number of samples

Average

0.14

0.14

Maximum

0.31

0.31

Minimum

0.04

Number of samples

Average

0.07

0.05

0.05

0.06

Maximum

0.22

0.13

0.07

0.22

Minimum

0.03

0.01

0.01

0.01

Number of samples

Average

0.38

0.58

0.52

Maximum

1.11

1.11

Minimum

0.05

0.05

Number of samples

Average

0.05

0.02

0.11

0.05

Maximum

0.05

0.03

0.11

Minimum

0.04

0.02

0.02

Number of samples
Mixed glass
for recycling

2-wheeled
bin

18

0.04
16

28

Average

0.30

0.29

0.21

0.19

0.27

Maximum

0.62

0.44

0.36

0.19

0.62

Minimum

0.05

0.18

0.07

0.18

0.05

Number of samples

Average

0.02

0.03

0.02

0.11

0.05

Maximum

0.02

0.03

0.16

0.16

Minimum

0.02

0.00

0.05

0.00

Number of samples

Average

0.07

0.12

0.04

0.08

Maximum

0.14

0.28

0.05

0.28

Minimum

0.03

0.03

0.02

0.02

Number of samples

Average

0.06

0.03

0.06

0.01

16

0.02

0.05

0.03

Maximum

0.05

0.03

0.08

0.08

Minimum

0.01

0.01

0.02

0.01

The majority of the material in the plastic recycling schemes was dense plastic, of which the majority comprised of bottles.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 86

Appendix F - Telephone survey


questionnaire
A copy of the final questionnaire used in the telephone survey is provided below. Further details of the telephone
survey methodology, including the selection and sampling of businesses, can be found in Section 2.4.

Q1

Reference:

Q2

Establishment name:

Q3

Address 1:

Q4

Address 2:

Q5

Town:

Q6

Postcode:

Q7

What region are you in?

_____________________________________________
_____________________________________________
_____________________________________________
_____________________________________________
_____________________________________________
_____________________________________________
England ........................................................
Scotland .......................................................
Wales ...........................................................
Northern Ireland.............................................

Q8

Contact name:

Q9

Contact job title:

_____________________________________________
_____________________________________________

Q10 Telephone:
_____________________________________________

Q11 Sector:
Hotel ............................................................
Restaurant ....................................................
Pub ..............................................................
QSR .............................................................

Q11a What is the star rating of your hotel?


Not rated .......................................................
1 star ............................................................
2 star ............................................................
3 star ............................................................
4 star ............................................................
5 star ............................................................
1 diamond .....................................................
2 diamond .....................................................
3 diamond .....................................................
4 diamond .....................................................
5 diamond .....................................................
I don't know ...................................................
I'm not willing to answer..................................

Q12 How many rooms are there in your hotel?


0 - 10 ............................................................
11 - 25 ..........................................................
26 - 50 ..........................................................
51 - 100 ........................................................
101 - 200 ......................................................

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry

87

201 - 500 ......................................................


501 - 750 ......................................................
751+ .............................................................
I don't know ...................................................
I'm not willing to answer..................................

Q13 Can you tell us approximately what room occupancy rate you achieved last year?
(The number of rooms you sold as a % of total rooms available)
0 - 20% .........................................................
21 - 50% .......................................................
51 - 75% .......................................................
76 - 90% .......................................................
90 - 100% .....................................................
I don't know ...................................................
I'm not willing to answer..................................

Q14 Is your pub:


A freehouse...................................................
Tenanted ......................................................
Managed ......................................................
A wine bar .....................................................
I'm not willing to answer..................................

Q15 Type of QSR:


Fish & chip shop ............................................
Mobile operator .............................................
Ethnic ...........................................................
Cafe .............................................................
World food ....................................................
Takeaway .....................................................
Group burger and chicken ..............................
I don't know ...................................................
I'm not willing to answer..................................

Q16 Type of restaurant


Traditional .....................................................
Pizza/pasta ...................................................
Pub/restaurant ...............................................
World food/ethnic ...........................................
Other ............................................................
I don't know ...................................................
I'm not willing to answer..................................

Q17 Is the business part of a group?


Yes ..............................................................
No ................................................................
I don't know ...................................................
I'm not willing to answer..................................

Q18 Do you currently recycle?


Yes ..............................................................
No ................................................................
I don't know ...................................................
I'm not willing to answer..................................

Q19 If yes, what do you recycle?


Paper ...........................................................
Cardboard .....................................................
Plastics .........................................................
Metals ..........................................................
Electrical appliances ......................................
Glass ............................................................
Fabric and textiles..........................................
Food waste ...................................................
Other ............................................................

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 88

I don't know ...................................................


I'm not willing to answer..................................
Other, please specify

_____________________

Q20 In addition to your council tax, do you currently pay for the removal of any of your
general waste?
Yes ..............................................................
Yes, but head office deals with this ..................
No ................................................................
I don't know ...................................................
I'm not willing to answer..................................

Q21 Thinking of your general waste, what size bins do you have and how many of each size?
2-wheeled bin (similar to a household dustbin)
4-wheeled bin
Skip (with a compactor)
Skip (without a compactor)
Sacks
Other

Q22 How many times per week are your bins emptied?
2-wheeled bin
4-wheeled bin
Skip (with a compactor)
Skip (without a compactor)
Sacks
Other

Q23 How do you currently recycle the previously mentioned items?

Paper
Cardboard
Plastics
Metals
Electrical appliances
Glass
Fabric and textiles
Food waste
Other

Domestic
kerbside
collection

Recycling
facility in a
car park

Paid
recycling
service

Specialist
group
recycling

Free
recycling
service

Composting

Other

Q24 Thinking about your paper recycling, what size bins do you have and how many are there
of each size?
2-wheeled bin (similar size to a household bin)
4-wheeled bin
Skip (with compactor)
Skip (without compactor)
Sacks
Other

Q25 How many times per week is your paper collected for recycling?
2-wheeled bin (similar size to a household bin)
4-wheeled bin
Skip (with compactor)
Skip (without compactor)
Sacks
Other

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 89

Q26 Thinking about your cardboard recycling, what size bins do you have and how many are
there of each size?
2-wheeled bin (similar size to a household bin)
4-wheeled bin
Skip (with compactor)
Skip (without compactor)
Sacks
Other

Q27 How many times per week is your cardboard collected for recycling?
2-wheeled bin (similar size to a household bin)
4-wheeled bin
Skip (with compactor)
Skip (without compactor)
Sacks
Other

Q28 Thinking about your plastics recycling, what size bins do you have and how many are
there of each size?
2-wheeled bin (similar size to a household bin)
4-wheeled bin
Skip (with compactor)
Skip (without compactor)
Sacks
Other

Q29 How many times per week is your plastic collected for recycling?
2-wheeled bin (similar size to a household bin)
4-wheeled bin
Skip (with compactor)
Sacks
Skip (without compactor)
Other

Q30 Thinking about your metal recycling, what size bins do you have and how many are there
of each size?
2-wheeled bin (similar size to a household bin)
4-wheeled bin
Skip (with compactor)
Skip (without compactor)
Sacks
Other

Q31 How many times per week is your metal collected for recycling?
2-wheeled bin (similar size to a household bin)
4-wheeled bin
Skip (with compactor)
Skip (without compactor)
Sacks
Other

Q32 Thinking about your electrical appliance recycling, what size bins do you have and how
many are there of each size?
2-wheeled bin (similar size to a household bin)
4-wheeled bin
Skip (with compactor)
Skip (without compactor)

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 90

Sacks
Other

Q33 How many times per week are your electrical appliances collected for recycling?
2-wheeled bin (similar size to a household bin)
4-wheeled bin
Skip (with compactor)
Skip (without compactor)
Sacks
Other

Q34 Thinking about your glass recycling, what size bins do you have and how many are there
of each size?
2-wheeled bin (similar size to a household bin)
4-wheeled bin
Skip (with compactor)
Skip (without compactor)
Sacks
Other

Q35 How many times per week is your glass collected for recycling?
2-wheeled bin (similar size to a household bin)
4-wheeled bin
Skip (with compactor)
Skip (without compactor)
Sacks
Other

Q36 Thinking about your fabric and textiles recycling, what size bins do you have and how
many are there of each size?
2-wheeled bin (similar size to a household bin)
4-wheeled bin
Skip (with compactor)
Skip (without compactor)
Sacks
Other

Q37 How many times per week is your fabric and textiles collected for recycling?
2-wheeled bin (similar size to a household bin)
4-wheeled bin
Skip (with compactor)
Skip (without compactor)
Sacks
Other

Q38 Thinking about your food waste recycling, what size bins do you have and how many are
there of each size?
2-wheeled bin (similar size to a household bin)
4-wheeled bin
Skip (with compactor)
Skip (without compactor)
Sacks
Other

Q39 How many times per week is your food waste collected for recycling?
2-wheeled bin (similar size to a household bin)
4-wheeled bin
Skip (with compactor)

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 91

Skip (without compactor)


Sacks
Other

Q40 Thinking about your grouped recycling, what size bins do you have and how many are
there of each size?
2-wheeled bin (similar size to a household bin)
4-wheeled bin
Skip (with compactor)
Skip (without compactor)
Sacks
Other

Q41 How many times per week is your grouped recycling collected?
2-wheeled bin (similar size to a household bin)
4-wheeled bin
Skip (with compactor)
Skip (without compactor)
Sacks
Other

Q42 Thinking about your other recycling, what size bins do you have and how many are there
of each size?
2-wheeled bin (similar size to a household bin)
4-wheeled bin
Skip (with compactor)
Skip (without compactor)
Sacks
Other

Q43 How many times per week is your other recycling collected?
2-wheeled bin (similar size to a household bin)
4-wheeled bin
Skip (with compactor)
Skip (without compactor)
Sacks
Other

Q44 Do you use a deep fat fryer?


Yes ..............................................................
No ................................................................
I don't know ...................................................
I'm not willing to answer..................................

Q45 If yes, roughly how many 20 litre drums of oil do you dispose of in a month?
0 - 2..............................................................
3 - 5..............................................................
6 - 8..............................................................
9+ ................................................................
I don't know ...................................................
I'm not willing to answer..................................

Q46 How many days per week do you trade?


1 ..................................................................
2 ..................................................................
3 ..................................................................
4 ..................................................................
5 ..................................................................
6 ..................................................................
7 ..................................................................
I don't know ...................................................

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 92

I'm not willing to answer..................................

Q47 How many weeks per year do you trade?


0 - 9..............................................................
10 -19 ...........................................................
20 - 29 ..........................................................
30 - 39 ..........................................................
40 - 49 ..........................................................
49+...............................................................
I don't know ...................................................
I'm not willing to answer..................................

Q48 Which of the following types of food service do you provide?


Breakfast ......................................................
Morning coffee...............................................
Lunch ...........................................................
Afternoon tea.................................................
Dinner ..........................................................
Snacks .........................................................
Takeaway .....................................................
No meals are provided ...................................
I don't know ...................................................
I'm not willing to answer..................................

Q49 Do you have a seating area within your establishment where customers can consume
food on the premises?
Yes ..............................................................
No ................................................................
I don't know ...................................................
I'm not willing to answer..................................

Q50 Do the majority of your customers consume food on your premises or take food away?
Eat on the premises .......................................
Take food away from the premises ..................
About the same .............................................
I don't know ...................................................
I'm not willing to answer..................................

Q51 How many meals do you serve on a daily basis?


0 - 25 ............................................................
26 - 50 ..........................................................
51 - 100 ........................................................
101 - 200 ......................................................
201 - 300 ......................................................
301+ .............................................................
I don't know ...................................................
I'm not willing to answer..................................

Q52 Do you use any of the following?


A macerator/food waste disposal unit? .............
A cardboard baler? ........................................
A crusher for glass? .......................................
A waste compactor?.......................................
None of the above .........................................
I don't know ...................................................
I'm not willing to answer..................................

Q53 Does your business have any of the following in place?


An environmental policy statement ..................
Company-wide targets for waste recycling........
A waste management strategy for the business unit
A process for asking suppliers to take back containers from deliveries for reuse
An informal commitment to reducing waste/environmental impacts
None of the above .........................................
I don't know ...................................................

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 93

I'm not willing to answer..................................

Q54 Earlier you mentioned that you don't currently recycle. Why is that?
There are no recycling/reuse services in my area

Time constraints ............................................

Space/storage constraints ..............................

There is no spare capacity in recycling/reuse services in my area

Can't see the point in recycling ........................

No collection service offered by suppliers .........

Never thought about it/other things to think about/not a priority

Planning to recycle in the near future ...............

I'm not willing to answer..................................

Other, please specify


_____________________________________________

Q55 As part of this project, WRAP is offering some businesses a free waste audit. This
involves our team collecting and analysing your waste to determine what it contains.
From this, opportunities for waste/cost reduction can be found. Would you be interested
in this?
Yes ..............................................................
No ................................................................

Q56 It is possible that WRAP, the project funders, may wish to carry out research in the
future into how they could help the hospitality sector improve its environmental
performance and save money by reducing waste. Would you be willing for your contact
details and your answers to the questions that I have asked you today to be passed to
WRAP and central government for these purposes? Any published information gathered
as part of these questions or any waste audit will be used for research purposes only. It
will be treated with the strictest confidence.
Yes ..............................................................
No ................................................................

Q57 Call outcome:


Complete waste disposal paid for .................
Complete disposal not paid for .....................
Refused to answer .........................................
No reply ........................................................
Call back .......................................................
Number not recognised ..................................
Business moved ............................................
Unsound other ............................................

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 94

Appendix G Recycling market


assumptions
Secondary material category

Established markets

Emerging markets

Newspaper/catalogues

Yes

Yes

Non-recyclable paper

No

No

Paper packaging

No

No

Board packaging

Yes

Yes

Card packaging

Yes

Yes

Liquid cartons

No

Yes

Other card

Yes

Yes

HDPE plastic bottles

Yes

Yes

Other dense plastic

No

No

Other dense plastic packaging

No

Yes

Other plastic bottles

Yes

Yes

PET plastic bottles

Yes

Yes

Plastic bags

Yes

Yes

Plastic film

No

Yes

Ferrous aerosols

Yes

Yes

Ferrous food and beverage cans

Yes

Yes

Other ferrous metal

No

No

Foil

Yes

Yes

Non-ferrous aerosols

Yes

Yes

Non-ferrous food and beverage cans

Yes

Yes

Other non-ferrous metal

No

No

Brown glass bottles and jars

Yes

Yes

Clear glass bottles and jars

Yes

Yes

Green glass bottles and jars

Yes

Yes

Other glass

No

No

Textiles

No

Yes

Miscellaneous combustible

No

No

Miscellaneous non-combustible

No

No

Kitchen waste non-packaged avoidable

Yes

Yes

Kitchen waste non-packaged unavoidable

Yes

Yes

Kitchen waste packaged avoidable

No

No

Kitchen waste packaged unavoidable

No

No

Garden waste

Yes

Yes

WEEE

No

No

Hazardous waste, batteries and clinical waste

No

No

Fines (<10mm)

No

No

Liquids

No

No

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry

95

Appendix H Average estimated meal


weight
The average meal weight calculated for the purpose of estimating the cost of a tonne of food ingredients in a
school consisted of a portion of mashed potato, one sausage, one portion of cooked vegetable, a yogurt and a
piece of fruit; the average meal constituents were selected by WRAP. The portion sizes were taken from the
Hungry for Success Programme in 2002.
Table H1 Average portion sizes detailed in Hungry for Success programme, 2002
Recommended Portion Size
Meal element

5-11
year olds

12-18
year olds

Average

Mashed potatoes, boiled potatoes, potato


croquettes

90-130g

190g

140g

Cooked vegetables including peas, green beans,


sweetcorn, carrots, mixed vegetables, cauliflower,
broccoli, swede, turnip, leek, Brussels sprouts,
cabbage, spinach, spring greens

40-60g

80g

60g

100-125ml

125-150ml

125ml

Sausages: beef, lamb, pork, Lorne (raw weight)

60-80g

120g

90g

Piece of fruit

50-100g

100g

75g

Yoghurts

Total

490g

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 96

Appendix I Literature review and


bibliography
A literature review was undertaken as a part of the development of the initial proposal and this was
supplemented during the early part of the project. This section describes the information sources searched
during the review, summarises key findings and lists key sources. A fuller bibliography is also provided towards
the end of the section.
The literature review was limited to material published/available after 2000 in the UK only. The following
literature resources were searched:
databases referencing abstracts of hospitality, leisure and tourism literature (e.g. CABI);
databases referencing data from the waste management industry or environmental management data in
general (e.g. SAGE Waste Management and Research online);
websites, environmental reports and corporate information from the major corporate hotel groups, pub
companies and catering businesses (e.g. Accor, InterContinental Hotel Group, Hilton, Whitbread, Mitchells &
Butlers, Hall and Woodhouse, Jurys Doyle, Greene King, Compass Group, Sodexo, Elior, McDonalds);
websites hosting best environmental practice examples from hospitality businesses (e.g. the International
Hotel & Restaurant Association, NetRegs, ATLAS, the BEST network); and
websites, reports, databases and publications from organisations seeking to influence/inform the
environmental management practices of businesses in general or hospitality businesses in particular (e.g.
CIRIA, the Building Research Establishment, the Food and Drink Federation, WRAP, the Institute of
Hospitality, the International Tourism Partnership, Envirowise, the Environment Agency, AEA Technology,
IGD, the Food Service Federation, the Considerate Hoteliers Association, the Institute of Wastes
Management, REY, businesses offering waste auditing or waste collection services, and other regional waste
entities).

The project team also sought information from a number of other sources:
members of the advisory group for this project were approached and asked to provide access to any
information sources that had been generated/commissioned by their organisation or of which they were
aware and which could inform this study. This request resulted in six responses, mainly including data that is
not normally within the public domain;
Enviros and CESHI approached known contacts and asked them to provide access to any information sources
that had been generated by their organisation or of which they were aware and which could inform this
study. Client confidentiality, however, requires that some of the specific data from these reports remains
confidential; and
Enviros and CESHI included reports that had been generated from their own research, within the scope of the
literature review. Client confidentiality, however, requires that some of the specific data from these reports
remains confidential.

Once collected, information was ranked on a scale of 1 to 5 (where 1 was the most useful data to inform the
study and 5 the least useful) as follows:

1: the literature contains quantitative data about the volume/weight and composition of waste arisings from
multiple hospitality businesses with UK-wide scope;
2: the literature contains quantitative data about the volume/weight and composition of waste arisings from
multiple hospitality businesses within one UK region or nation;
3: the literature contains quantitative data about the volume/weight of waste arisings from multiple
hospitality businesses but contains no compositional analysis with UK-wide scope;
4: the literature contains quantitative data about the volume/weight of waste arisings from multiple
hospitality businesses but contains no compositional analysis within one UK region or nation; and,
5: the literature contains data about and volume/composition of waste from one or two hospitality business
units only.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 97

Literature receiving a score of 1 or 2 in the above scheme was assessed further to define:
the number of hospitality outlets represented in the dataset;
the mode of data collection (telephone survey, mail survey, face-to-face interview, compositional analysis);
and
the regional scope of the data (England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, or the name of the regional
devolved authorities covered).

Identification and appraisal of key studies


Using the categorisation previously outlined, we identified the following studies as having potential to inform our
approach:
the Environment Agency 2000. Commercial and industrial waste production survey 1998/99. The Environment
Agency;
Entec 2008. Local development framework: commercial and industrial waste survey. Rutland County Council;
WRAP 2007. Glass collected from licensed premises: determination of how much glass is collected for
recycling from licensed premises. Banbury, WRAP;
Oakdene Hollins for WRAP 2008a. Hospitality sector glass collection. Banbury, WRAP;
Oakdene Hollins 2008b. Mapping waste in the food industry. Defra and the Food and Drink Federation;
Thomas, C., Dacombe, P., Maycox, A., Banks, C., Khan, T. and Slater, R. 2007. Identification of key resource
streams in commercial and industrial waste from small businesses in the food sector. The Open University
Integrated Waste Systems Research Group: Milton Keynes.
Defra 2006. Food industry sustainability strategy. www.defra.gov.uk/farm/policy/sustain/fss/pdf/fiss2006.pdf;
and
Todd, M. and Hawkins, R. 2001. Waste counts: a handbook for accommodation operators. CESHI, Oxford
Brookes University.
Studies that are not available within the public domain and that have also influenced our approach include:
CESHI 2007. Biodegradable tableware products and the UK food service industry. CESHI, Oxford Brookes
University;
Environment Agency 2000. C&I research report and data; and
Local Authority Support Unit (LASU) data: a database compiled by MEL Research Ltd of various waste
composition studies undertaken as part of the Waste Implementation Programme.
Summary of key findings
The literature review covered a list of 136 articles in the public domain and other articles sourced from Enviros,
CESHI or advisory group contacts. Of these, only a handful of studies provided detailed compositional data
collated from samples of 10 businesses or more. The key points from our review are summarised below:
most of the literature focuses on providing advice for hospitality businesses (usually focused around
complying with regulation and/or minimising waste disposal costs);
many of the surveys that have been undertaken:
o have only achieved acceptable response rates using telephone calls or personal visits to
persuade staff to complete questionnaires;
o do not provide reliable data about waste volumes or values. Most rely on businesses estimating
the volume of waste by assessing the number of bins and their fill levels and adding these
details to survey forms. As a report from Oakdene Hollins (2008) states, such estimates may
overstate the volume of waste generated because of the errors implicit when converting waste
volume data into weight estimates. Furthermore, WRAP (2007) states that current estimates of
the weight of glass for recycling available in licensed premises are likely to be overstated
because respondents to self-completion surveys overestimate the amount of glass they
produce and these estimates are summed up without taking due account of the difference in
waste produced by urban and rural establishments; and
o do not provide detailed attitudinal data about wastes.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 98

much of what has been written focuses on:


o glass specifically, with a lesser focus on food and packaging waste;
o the licensed retail trade specifically (with some data available for hotels but very limited data
available for restaurants, QSRs and other types of catering outlets);
o wastes for which easily accessible and commercially viable recycling services exist;
o the economics of changing waste collection procedures for waste collection organisations,
rather than for hospitality businesses; and
o businesses that have direct influence over their own waste management (rather than those for
whom waste is managed by a third party).
there is very limited information available on:
o difficult-to-manage wastes from the sector with the exception of oil and grease (especially
hazardous wastes);
o wastes that occur before the point of final disposal (especially packaging returned to
manufacturers and waste disposed of via a macerator);
o detailed attitudinal data at relevant decision-making points in businesses (e.g. many head
office businesses have waste recycling as a key priority, but few are able to actively enforce
this throughout all units. There is very little data that identifies why some units under the
management of the same head office implement waste management programmes and others
do not); and
o the different approaches to waste within the sector mapped onto different waste recycling
service provision and different levels of fee charging.
most of the compositional data that is available for the sector:
o is developed from very small sample sizes;
o has employed varying audit methodologies (e.g. auditing all waste or a sample of waste, visual
analysis of waste volumes and conversion of this data into weights);
o employs different materials definitions; and
o has rarely been correlated against key business performance criteria (e.g. occupancy for
hotels, number of meals served for restaurants), with the exception of the reports generated
for benchmarking purposes by hospitality businesses.
Most of the data that is presented across the sector as a whole:
o is based on very small samples, sometimes grossed up to represent the sector, using different
methodologies;
o uses methodologies that gross up making no allowance for seasonal fluctuations/volume of
trade etc.;
o is not representative of the range of different models of working across the sector (e.g.
tenanted, managed, facilities management contract); and
o makes no allowance for the patchwork of provision of waste recycling infrastructure and the
cost-effectiveness of engaging in these services across the country.

Details of all studies considered (i.e. key points from each study are listed)
Category 1 Volume & composition of waste: multiple hospitality businesses in the UK
1.

WRAP 2007. Glass collected from licensed premises: determination of how much glass is collected for
recycling from licensed premises. Banbury, WRAP:
o in 2006, 54% of licensed premises separated their glass waste from general waste. Although
figures show an increase in the amount of glass recycled (2006-7), previous figures (2004-5)
appeared to be overestimations, especially for the smaller premises, and did not match the
industry figures, indicating that licensed premises are not effectively monitoring their waste;
and
o special glass collectors and local authorities reported an increase in the amount of glass
collected for recycling in 2006 compared to 2005 as licensed premises were more aware of the
services available to them.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 99

2.

WRAP 2008. Hospitality sector glass collection. WRAP, Oakdene Hollins Ltd:
o the report focused on quantifying the level of glass container waste arising from the UK
hospitality sector to determine current recycling rates. Between 113,500 and 141,700 tonnes
of glass were recovered from the UK hospitality sector in 2007 with a mean recycling rate of
approximately 21%;
o 25% of the total UK container glass arisings are historically attributed to the hospitality sector,
yet its recycling rate has not risen much since the introduction of the 1997 Packaging Waste
Directive, i.e. in comparison to household glass recycling which has seen a dramatic rise since
then; and
o the study estimated total glass waste arisings in the UK hospitality sector at between 588,000
and 652,000 tonnes per year with beer, wine and soft drinks the main contributors and bottled
water cited as a notable generator.

3.

Envirowise Guide. Better management of fats, oils and greases in the catering sector (GG809):
o a Good Practice guide to help catering premises of all types and sizes to improve their
management of fats, oils and greases based on volumes purchased and their appropriate
usage/disposal; and
o gives examples of ways in which restaurants, canteens etc. can reduce their use of fats and
oils and illustrates cost savings and other benefits of such good practice.

4.

Oakdene Hollins Ltd 2008. Mapping waste in the food industry. Defra and the Food and Drink Federation:
o this report provides a snapshot of the level of food and packaging waste arising across the
Federations member companies during 2006 and its geographical distribution;
o overall, the quantity of food and packaging waste sent to landfill was modest, amounting to
16.5% of total tonnage or 138,000 tonnes of waste. Of the 835,000 tonnes of waste produced,
686,000 tonnes (82%) was recycled or recovered while 512,000 tonnes of potential waste was
avoided through the use of by-products such as animal feed; and
o mixed waste comprised only 135,000 tonnes but represented a much higher proportion of
landfilled waste (110,00 tonnes of the 138,000 tonnes).

Category 2 Volume & composition of waste: multiple hospitality businesses with regional scope
(including Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland)
1.

Thomas, C., Dacombe, P., Maycox, A., Banks, C., Khan, T. and Slater, R. 2007. Identification of key resource
streams in commercial & industrial waste from small businesses in the food sector. The Open University
Integrated Waste Systems Research Group: Milton Keynes.
o the report indicated the significance of the resource potential from the waste stream of SMEs
in the food manufacturing, wholesale and retail, and hospitality sectors in Hampshire;
o only 38% recycled, three-quarters of which is paper and card; and
o the report concluded that there is considerable opportunity for increasing recovery of the main
material constituents, particularly paper and card, food waste, plastic and glass.

2.

Defra 2006. Food Industry Sustainability Strategy:


http://www.defra.gov.uk/farm/policy/sustain/fiss/pdf/fiss2006.pdf [accessed 21/01/09]:
o this Environment Agency survey estimated total industrial and commercial waste arisings in
England and Wales in 1998/99 to be 75 million tonnes, of which the food and drink (and
tobacco) manufacturing sector was responsible for 7 million tonnes;
o the survey also found that overall food waste across all sectors was 2.6 million tonnes of
which 69% was recovered, reused or recycled, 25% was disposed of to landfill and the balance
was mainly sent for treatment; and
o paper and card waste from the food and drink (and tobacco) manufacturing sector was
233,000 tonnes, 4% of the national total.

3.

Todd, M. and Hawkins, R. 2001. Waste counts: a handbook for accommodation operators. CESHI, Oxford
Brookes University:
o this handbook provides useful information for accommodation managers/owners concerning
the ways in which waste produced can be minimised and the associated costs of disposal and
handling managed; and

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 100

Category 3 Volume/weight but not composition: multiple hospitality businesses in the UK


1.

Food MarketWatch 2008. UK food and drink: failure to comply with environmental legislation could cost
manufacturers dearly. Food MarketWatch, Datamonitor:
o the article reports on a survey commissioned by the environmental guidance website NetRegs
indicating that the fast pace of change in UK environmental laws makes it difficult for small
food and drink manufacturers to cope with the legislation; and
o the food and drink manufacturing sector is the third highest producer of waste in the UK
generating 3.4 million tonnes of waste in 2006, which means that the sector could prevent a
substantial portion of waste going to landfill by complying with the new rules.

Category 4 Volume/weight but NOT composition: multiple hospitality businesses with regional
scope
No literature could be sourced covering this category.

Category 5 Volume/composition of waste: one or two hospitality businesses


1.

Envirowise 2008. Crannaig House. Scottish Tourist Businesses:


o case study of financial benefits of waste reduction/management;
o received Gold Award from Green Tourism Business Scheme; and
o reduction in volume of waste (60%) and utility usage led to cost savings (waste reduction
volumes > waste produced).

2.

Envirowise 2008. Glencoe Cottages. Scottish Tourist Businesses:


o case study of financial benefits of recycling (diversion from landfill reduced waste volume by
21.5m3/360 per year); and
o received Gold Award from Green Tourism Business Scheme.

3.

Envirowise 2008. Slochd Mhor Lodge. Scottish Tourist Businesses:


o case study of financial benefits of recycling, reusing and careful purchasing (diversion from
landfill saved 24.1m3/220 per year); and
o received Silver Award from Green Tourism Business Scheme.

4.

Envirowise 2006. Holiday village saves by minimising water use and waste: a case study at Center Parcs,
Whinfell Forest:
o case study demonstrates the cost benefits of water efficiency and waste minimisation. Less
waste is sent to landfill (298 tonnes in 2004/05); and
o of 230 tonnes of waste recycled in 2004/05, 42.9% was paper/card and 56.6% glass. A
reduction in water use of 30,107m3 per year was also achieved.

5.

Envirowise 2008. Hotel saves money with resource efficiency. Envirowise case study:
o this case study of Best Western Kings Manor Hotel, Edinburgh demonstrates the benefits of
maximising waste recycling and resource use efficiency;
o recycling of glass, cans, newspapers, cardboard and plastic bottles diverted around 50% of
waste from landfill and saved 1716 per year; and
o efficiency measures reduced water bills by 400 per year and energy consumption reduced by
10%, leading to total energy savings of 27,600 per year.

6.

Envirowise 2006. Resource efficiency at a small hotel. Envirowise case study:


o a case study of Strattons Hotel demonstrating a commitment to eliminate, reduce, reuse and
recycle, with over 98% of all waste reused or recycled;
o describes how under 2% (9130kg) of the hotels waste is sent to landfill; and
o shows the annual breakdown of waste generated at the hotel.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 101

7.

Zero Waste Alliance 2002. Green hotels: opportunities and resources for success. Portland, Zero Waste
Alliance:
o discusses case studies that illustrate ways hotels reduce consumption of resources and change
practices so that the waste they produce can be used as raw material (i.e. zero waste); and
o quotes statistics from a waste generation study of 25 hotels giving a picture of the variety of
waste that can be produced by a small number of hotels in a city.

8.

Travel Trade Gazette 2007. Talking rubbish scream if youre green: week 14 hotels breeze into action.
Travel Trade Gazette UK & Ireland, United Business Media:
o this article focuses on Hilton Hotels and their new method of rubbish recycling, following Hilton
Glasgow which slashed waste to 49 tonnes between November and January (i.e. 24 tonnes
less than the same period the previous year) after the hotel installed colour-coded recycling
bins for paper, glass, oil and food.

9.

InterContinental Hotels Group 2008. Energy saving at Holiday Inn, Basildon, UK: corporate responsibility
case studies. Retrieved online at http://www.ihgplc.com/ [Accessed 18/01/2009]:
o this article illustrates the variety of initiatives that InterContinental Hotels Group has
implemented within its corporate responsibility umbrella; and
o the Holiday Inn, Basildon, UK received the Environmental Awareness Award in the large
company category at the 12th Annual Basildon Business Awards because of its 22% reduction
in gas use and 6% cut in electricity use.

10. InterContinental Hotels Group 2008. Crowne Plaza London St James wins water reduction award: corporate
responsibility case studies. Retrieved online at http://www.ihgplc.com/ [Accessed 18/01/2009]:
o as part of the Considerate Hotel of the Year Awards, the Crowne Plaza London St James Hotel
won the Envirowise Water Management Challenge for achieving a 48% reduction in the
amount of water consumed per guest per night, without compromising the quality of guest
facilities or customer service but through a commitment to improve water efficiency and
environmental performance in all areas of operation.
11. Marriott 2008. Water, waste & energy reduction. Retrieved online at
http://www.marriott.com/marriott.mi?page=green_reduction [Accessed 18/01/2009]:
o Marriott plans to reduce its environmental footprint by: committing to reducing its fuel and
water consumption by an additional 25% per available room over the next 10 years; installing
solar power at up to 40 hotels by 2017; and expanding existing reduce, reuse, recycle
programmes already in place in 90% of its hotels.
12. Thomas 2007. Marriott to take part in Environmental Awareness Month. Caterersearch. Retrieved online at
http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2007 [Accessed 18/01/2009]:
o Marriott is on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 20% over the 10 years to
2010. It launched a pilot programme at 30 hotels to measure, standardise and expand
recycling companywide; and
o currently more than 96% of Marriott hotels actively recycle and, in the UK, all hotels and the
companys regional office have recycling programmes in place.
13. Accor 2007. The spirit of smiles: 2007 annual report. Retrieved online at http://www.accor.com/gb
[Accessed 17/01/2009]:
o under the Earth Guest program, one of Accors eight priorities is effective waste management
by recycling more and better and reducing the amounts of waste produced. Accor plans to
reduce consumption of water and energy by 10% and fit out 200 hotels with solar panels.
Accor will also introduce waste-sorting programmes in all its hotels in Europe.
14. Whitbread plc 2006. Our waste management and recycling Whitbread plc environment report 2004/05:
o Whitbread has a central contract to handle waste disposed of to landfill but the company also
comprehensively monitors numbers and types of waste containers at site level to help
maximise the opportunity to capture recyclable material;
o in its highlights of the year 2004/05, recycling increased with cardboard recycling going up in
restaurants by 116% and glass recycling going up by 34%.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 102

15. Caterersearch 2007. 10 ways to make your hotel greener. Retrieved online at:
http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2007/10/25/316809/10-ways-to-make-your-hotel-greener.html
[Accessed 21/01/09]:
o highlights the need to recycle and points out the 365-bedroom Hilton Heathrow which was
commended for its waste policy by the Considerate Hoteliers Association in its annual awards.
Glass, paper, oil, toner cartridges, cardboard, plastic, batteries, cans and light bulbs are
recycled. Old furniture is given away, food is processed through a macerator into a waste drain
and garden waste is cut up and used as compost. All this resulted in the hotel sending only
125 tonnes of waste to landfill in 2006 for the 62,000 guests who visited (i.e. a reduction of 12
tonnes from the year before).
16. Countryside Agency 2000. Green audit kit version 2. Retrieved online at
http://www.ruralcommunities.gov.uk/files/CA%2025%20-%20Green%20Audit%20Kit1.pdf [Accessed
21/01/09]:
o a Case study of Sandy Balls, a 25-acre holiday centre for touring vans, static holiday homes
and pine log chalets, which has over 20 recycling hides and a policy to encourage source
separation of recyclable materials from refuse generated by visitors. The volume of nonrecyclable waste has been reduced by 28% from 1996 levels and the visibility of the project
has increased visitor awareness of the environmental work of the company.
17. Perth & Kinross Council 2006. Waste minimisation case study Tower Hotel. Scottish Organic Services:
o this article explains how recycling rates have gone up at the Tower Hotel under new ownership
which targets separate collection of wastes. Some 3.6m3 of materials are recycled monthly
comprising 1920l of glass , 400l of cardboard, 140l of paper, 480l of cans, 300l of organic
kitchen waste , 40l of vegetable oil and 240l of plastic milk bottles.
18. Environment Agency 2008. Whitbread plc: Project Water. Retrieved online at http://www.environmentagency.gov.uk/business/topics/ [Accessed 20/01/2009]:
o this article explains how successfully Whitbread has put energy and water efficiency on the
business agendas of all its operations under Project Water; and
o savings of more than 330,000m3 of water per year have been made, amounting to 35,000 of
business savings.
19. Accelerated Compost 2008. University of Salford, Greater Manchester:
o this is a case study of the University of Salford which has a number of catering facilities dotted
around the campus. Food waste became an issue as dirty, smelly bins attracted vermin and
waste disposal costs were rising;
o with the A500 Rocket in-vessel composter, food waste is recycled on-site without the need to
segregate it. The A500 Rocket was a huge success and diverts around 19 tonnes of food waste
from landfill each year. Two machines save 57 tonnes per year; and
o collecting other recyclables reduced the number of bins needed. Cardboard from the catering
facilities is one of the largest waste streams on-site and five 1100l bins of cardboard are
recycled each week.
20. Accelerated Compost 2008. The National Trust: Cotehele National Trust Estate, Saltash
o this article is based on the assessment of the impact of climate change on National Trust
houses, gardens, coast, countryside and the wider environment, but focuses on a case study of
Cotehele where the biggest contributor to unusable waste is from the catering section; and
o in 2006, the A500 Rocket in-vessel composter was installed to significantly reduce waste and
to produce garden compost. In the first year, around 31,000l of waste was processed through
the composter, which reduced potential waste to landfill by 15 tonnes. Cotehele is one of four
National Trust estates now using the Rocket.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 103

21. Accelerated Compost 2008. Canolfan Conwy Centre, Anglesey


o in this case study, increased waste collection costs became apparent, with 13 1100l bins and
four 800l bins, after an eco-audit. Following the eco-audit, an Environmental Committee was
formed to reduce energy consumption, reduce unrecyclable plastic waste and increase
recycling where possible;
o as a result, heating efficiency increased from 76% to 93% whilst the amount of utility/recycling
has been reduced due to the use of a compactor and a Rocket in-vessel composter. By the end
of 2006, the amount of material being recycled annually was: cardboard 353.6m3; paper
50m3; glass 132.6m3; and plastic bottles 136.08m3; and
o in 2007, the Centre was awarded the Environmental Management System Award for the Public
Sector in the Welsh Sustainability Awards.
22. ARAMARK 2008. Environmental stewardship. Retrieved online at http://www.aramark.com/ [Accessed
19/01/2009]:
o this article explains that ARAMARK, as a member of the Laundry Environmental Stewardship
Program (LaundryESP), has contributed to the reduction of the industrys water use by
approximately 12%, energy use by 10% and pollutant discharge by 40%.
23. Cummings 2008. Initiatives: sustainability stage by stage. Retrieved online at
http://www.sustainablefacility.com/
o this article details the measures that ARAMARK Facility Services has taken to reduce the
companys environmental impact; and
o ARAMARK Facility Services recycles 100% of office paper every other week, approximately 18
large bales of corrugated cardboard are recycled per month and 364 tonnes of garbage are
incinerated to produce 650,000MW of electricity per year.
24. J D Wetherspoon 2007. Bringing you the best UK pubs and the best ale and wine festivals awards and
accolades. Retrieved online at http://www.jdwetherspoon.co.uk/awards/ [Accessed 24/01/09]:
o this article talks about Wetherspoons award for the high-street recycling champion.
Wetherspoon is praised for nationwide recycling initiatives across the entire pub chain; and
o Wetherspoon is annually recycling 1600 tonnes of used cooking oil, 3100 tonnes of cardboard,
200 tonnes of paper and 100 tonnes of plastic and aluminium.
25. J D Wetherspoon 2007. Bringing you the best UK pubs and the best ale and wine festivals Corporate Social
Responsibility. Retrieved online at http://www.jdwetherspoon.co.uk/social-responsibility/environment.php
[Accessed 24/01/09]:
o Wetherspoon does all it can to recycle ordinary materials such as cans, glass and paper, but
also recycles items such as cooking oil. Each year the company aims to recycle more and
figures for the years 2004 to 2006 indicate a steady increase of recycled materials from 2359
tonnes in 2004/05, to 3734 tonnes in 2005/06 and 5078 tonnes in 2006/07;
o Wetherspoon is also working closely with all its suppliers to reduce the amount of packaging
initially by 2% and the pub has been recognised for its efforts in recycling at two of the UKs
major recycling events: the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport Annual Awards of
Excellence 2006: Environmental Improvement 2nd place: and the National Recycling Awards
2005: Best Retail Recycling Initiative highly recommended.
26. Business Travelogue 2008. Hilton Hotels Sustainability Plan. Retrieved online at
http://www.businesstravellogue.com/travel-tips/hilton-hotels-sustainability-plan.html [Accessed 18/01/09]:
o this article provides some data about Hilton Hotels current practices whereby, under
sustainability projects, water consumption has been reduced by 10% in the last two years in
the UK. The introduction of carbon-free electricity has reduced CO2 emissions in participating
Hilton Hotels by more than 64,000 tonnes per year, or 56% of carbon footprint; and
o according to new plans, the hotels aim to reduce output of waste by 20%, reduce water
consumption by 10%, reduce energy consumption from direct operations by 20% and reduce
CO2 emissions by 20%.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 104

27. Marston's 2007. Environmental report 2007 waste:


o Marstons produced around 31,500 tonnes of waste in total in the 12 months to March 2007, of
which 14,501 tonnes came from brewing processes and 16,999 tonnes came from managed
pubs. Of this total, 44% was recycled and the remaining 56% was sent to landfill; and
o 88% of the waste produced by breweries is recycled. Some of the waste, such as malt and
hops, is recycled as animal feed after brewing. Other wastes such as glass, metals, cardboard,
paper and polythene are disposed of through recycling contractors.
28. Mitchells & Butlers 2008. Corporate Social Responsibility: environment. Retrieved online at
http://www.mitchells-butler.com [Accessed 24/01/09]:
o this review explains Mitchells & Butlers commitment to minimising the impact of their business
on the environment through energy efficiency and recycling practices across its businesses;
and
o in 2008, significant improvements were made in recycling with around 75% of retail estate
recycling glass and cardboard. Mitchells & Butlers pubs have thus recycled 50% more waste in
2008 (over 21,000 tonnes) compared to 14,000 tonnes in 2007. 1800 tonnes of used cooking
oil from pubs has also been converted into biodiesel, reducing UK CO2 emissions by around
6000 tonnes per year.
29. Enterprise Inns 2008. Carbon management - Head Office. Retrieved online at
http://www.enetrpriseinns.com/Investors/CSR/Environment/Pages/ [Accessed 24/01/09]:
o Enterprise Inns are targeting annual reductions of approximately 10% of carbon footprint each
year, which resulted in reducing carbon footprint by 98 metric tonnes of CO2. Energy
consumption at head office reduced by 56kWh/m2; and
o in line with WEEE regulations, 100% recycling of toner cartridges is carried out.
30. South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) 2002. Sustainable Business Awards: Shepherd Neame
Ltd. Retrieved online at www.seeda.co.uk
o Shepherd Neame Ltd, the first UK brewery to be awarded ISO 14001 in October 2000, was
recognised for its achievement in the efficient use of resources as part of its strategy. The
company was the winner in the Resource Efficiency category of the Kent Environment Awards
for Business 2001; and
o water usage was reduced by 7 million gallons per year, whilst packaging material reduced
cardboard weight by 21% and glass by 11%. Energy was also reduced by 19%.
31. WRAP and Hotel Catering and International Management Association (HCIMA). Novotel London Wests
recycling policy. Retrieved online at http://recyclenowpartners.org.uk/research_fun_facts/fun_facts.html
o a case study of Novotel London West, part of the Accor Hotel Group which ran a waste audit
and identified key materials for recycling: cardboard, paper, glass, cooking oil, cans, printer
cartridges, plastic bottles, light bulbs and batteries; and
o the hotel recycles around 20% of the total waste stream, which amounts to approximately 100
tonnes every year.
32. WRAP and HCIMA. Four Pillars, Witney.Retrieved online at
http://recyclenowpartners.org.uk/research_fun_facts/fun_facts.html
o at this hotel, it was discovered that cardboard packaging was taking up too much space in the
bins. The hotel purchased a cardboard baler and was able to sell on the compacted and baled
cardboard for recycling at around 10 per tonne. The baler paid for itself within nine months.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 105

Category 6 General composition surveys (includes hospitality data within wider datasets)
1.

SLR 2007. Determination of the biodegradability of mixed industrial and commercial waste landfilled in
Wales. SLR Consulting Limited, Wales:
o a study assessing the biodegradability of mixed industrial and commercial wastes landfilled
within Wales;
o the survey analysed 160 samples: 142 of waste landfilled directly, or with low levels of
diversion at a transfer station, and 18 of waste landfilled following high diversion at a transfer
station. This amounted to 41.5 tonnes of sampled materials; and
o cardboard boxes and containers constituted the largest component at 15%, whilst kitchen
waste was second at 13%.

2.

Urban Mines 2007. Study to fill evidence gaps for commercial & industrial waste streams in the North West
region of England. North West Regional Technical Advisory Board (NWRTAB), Urban Mines:
o this study aimed to inform the need for new regional and sub-regional waste facilities, the
development of waste planning strategies and waste planning decisions; and
o the survey looked at all waste generated on a companys site that was sent off-site for
treatment, disposal or recycling, and hazardous and non-hazardous waste, plus the waste
management method used for each waste (e.g. landfill, recycling) and the contractor used.

3.

Mintel 2008. Waste management (industrial report): UK December 2008. Mintel, MBD Limited:
o this report defines and analyses the sources of waste arising in the UK, and the collection,
treatment and disposal of that waste, particularly the collection and disposal of domestic,
commercial, industrial, building and demolition refuse which can be defined broadly as the
element of waste that is available to commercial contractors;
o commercial waste arising is from trade or business activities, including sport, recreation,
education or entertainment, excluding municipal, industrial, construction and demolition
activities;
o landfill remains the main method of managing most of the UKs waste. With approximately
80% of UK waste being directed to landfill, in spite of the EU Landfill Directive and associated
Landfill (England and Wales) Regulations 2002, and a small amount going to recycling and the
rest to incineration;
o by 2012, waste collected from the commercial/industrial sector is anticipated to decline by a
marginal level to 61.9 million tonnes;
o the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) suggested that the UK will need 1700 new facilities of a
range of sizes by 2012 at a cost of 10 billion to treat, recycle and dispose of waste in order to
meet the requirements of the EU Landfill Directive; and
o initiatives such as Business Resource Efficiency and Waste (BREW) and WRAP are also cited as
helping to develop markets for reusable materials, hence increasing the amount the UK
recycles.

4.

Mintel 2008. Waste arisings: waste management (industrial report) UK December 2008. Mintel, MBD
Limited:
o this report focuses on the amount of waste arising in the UK, which is believed to have
increased marginally during 2007 to an estimated 337 million tonnes. The industrial sector
accounted for about 20%, with a decline of 1% since 2003, whilst the commercial sector is
believed to have accounted for 5% and remained relatively constant between 2006 and 2007.
o the increase in the commercial sector is attributed to: increased use of paper along with the
computerisation of offices and the associated computer printouts; the continued high use of
packaging materials, estimated to account for 5.6 million tonnes of commercial waste; the high
proportional importance of fast-food packaging collected at street bins; and the continued and
increasing use of packaging materials by catering types of outlets; and
o an analysis of the packaging element of commercial waste in 2007 indicated that paper
represented the largest share at 75% (or 4.2 tonnes) of commercial packaging waste, whilst
plastic accounted for the second-largest share of commercial packaging waste at 13%. Glass
came third at 8%. Notably, 13 million tonnes of paper was consumed in the UK in 2004, of
which only 36% was recycled and 5 million tonnes was directed to landfill.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 106

5.

Mintel 2008. Waste disposal: waste management (industrial report) UK December 2008. Mintel, MBD
Limited:
o the principal method of controlled waste disposal in the UK is landfill. However, since October
1996, there has been a tax on landfill.
o data on waste disposal licences up to 2002 indicates that there were 8905 disposal licences in
operation in England, Wales and Scotland, of which 34% were for landfill sites; and
o other operational waste management licences include: civic amenity, transfer, storage,
treatment, incineration, material recycling, metal recycling, end-of-life vehicles (ELVs),
compost, mobile plant.

6.

Mintel 2008. Waste treatment: waste management (industrial report) UK December 2008. Mintel, MBD
Limited:
o most waste collected in the UK is disposed of to landfill sites without prior treatment but, since
the Landfill Directive, it is required that all hazardous waste must (as of July 2004) be treated
prior to landfill and all non-hazardous waste must (as of October 2007) undergo pretreatment;
o according to Defra, the proportion of municipal waste disposed of at landfill sites in England
was reduced from 75% in 2002/03 to 58% in 2006/07. In Wales, it was reduced from 87% in
2002/03 to 68% in 2006/07. In Scotland 73% was disposed of to landfill in 2005/06, whilst in
Northern Ireland landfill disposal was reported to be 74% in 2006/07; and
o an analysis of the estimated treatment and disposal of waste that typically comprises the
commercial contracting market indicated that the volume of pre-treated waste was 51.2 million
tonnes in 2007, representing 42% of total waste. Compacting, which is considered the most
important method of waste treatment, represented 23.2 million tonnes (or 19%), whilst
reclamation, considered the second most important method of waste treatment, accounted for
13.4 million tonnes in 2007. Other forms of waste treatment were considered too small to have
an impact.

7.

Environment and Heritage Service 2008. Review of municipal waste component analysis:
o this report aimed at determining the composition of municipal waste in Northern Ireland in
order to review the biodegradable municipal waste fraction for Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)
there; and
o organic non-catering, paper and glass make the biggest contribution to municipal waste in
Northern Ireland at 25.77%, 15.93% and 14.59% respectively.

8.

Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) 2007. Waste arisings. Retrieved online at
http://www.ciwm.org.uk/pm/485 [Accessed 25/01/09]:
o this web page provides data on municipal waste in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern
Ireland for 2003/04;
o in England, 29.1 million tonnes of MSW was generated, 72% being sent to landfill, 19% sent
for recycling/compositing and 9% for incineration/energy from waste (EfW). In Scotland, 3.32
million tonnes of MSW was generated, 85.4% being sent to landfill, 2.2% for incineration/EfW
and 12.4% for recycling. In Wales, 1.83 million tonnes of MSW was generated, 82.4% being
sent to landfill and 17.6% for recycling/composting. In Northern Ireland, 1.05 million tonnes of
MSW was generated, 82.9% being sent to landfill and 17.1% recycled and composted; and
o for industrial and commercial waste arisings, England produced 70 million tonnes, Wales
produced approximately 7 million tonnes, Scotland 5 million tonnes and Northern Ireland
approximately 1 million tonnes.

9.

Alupro 2008. The industry organisation: facts and figures. Retrieved online at
http://www.alupro.org.uk/facts%20and%20figures.htm [Accessed 25/01/2009]:
o this article concerns getting into the habit of recycling aluminium can and foil, because the
recycling process uses only 5% of the energy used in making the metal for the first time; and
o annual UK consumption of aluminium is estimated at 900,000 tonnes, with packaging
accounting for 21% of that.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 107

10. Defra 2005. Producer responsibility obligations (packaging waste) Regulations 1997 (as amended):
o the data presented is on packaging handled and as provided by obligated businesses to the
relevant agencies (the Environment Agency, SEPA and the Northern Ireland Environment and
Heritage Service), whilst estimated tonnage of packaging in the waste stream comes from the
trade organisations responsible for each packaging material. Data on recovery and recycling
achieved comes from accredited reprocessors and exporters.
11. CIWM 2005. National Waste Strategy for England: 2005 review - lessons learned report and position
statement. SLR Consulting Limited:
o this review set out the position of the CIWM on the Waste Strategy 2000 and the extent to
which it had delivered to date on the objectives and targets contained therein; and
o one major outcome of the CIWM review was the recommendation of the need to give equal
weight to non-municipal wastes (which represent over 90% of the total controlled waste
stream) as municipal wastes (representing less than 10% of the total) in respect of the policy,
targets and objectives. Too great a focus on municipal waste was, it said, to the detriment of
other waste streams.
12. Enviros Consulting Ltd 2009. Market development study for the East Midlands. Banbury, WRAP:
o this study assessed regional waste arisings, existing infrastructure capacity and markets for
recyclates, and the gap between current capacity and future capacity requirements, in order to
identify market development activities to support the economic development of the East
Midlands;
o the report notes that wastes from the hospitality sector contain significant quantities of food
waste, plastic, glass and paper/card packaging, and that the sector traditionally has recycled
little of this waste due to limitations on space to store and segregate waste into different
materials; and
o a final point was that there did not appear to be regional support available to assist the
hospitality sector in recycling their waste.
13. Environment and Heritage Service 2007. Commercial & industrial waste arisings survey 2004/05. Retrieved
online at www.ehsni.gov.uk [Accessed 20/01/09]:
o this report indicates that the most common waste management option for industrial and
commercial waste in Northern Ireland is landfill, which accounts for about 998,245 tonnes or
64% of the total; and
o analysis of the composition of waste produced by businesses in Northern Ireland in 2004/05
showed that the most common waste material is mixed waste, which consists of paper,
cardboard, kitchen waste and metals and accounts for 580,166 tonnes or 37% of the total.
This is followed by packaging waste at 299,648 tonnes or 19% of the total and then waste
from thermal processes at 172,540 tonnes or 11% of the total.
14. Napier University 2008. Estimation of commercial and industrial waste produced in Scotland in 2006: final
report to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). Centre for Statistics:
o this report estimates that the total industrial and commercial waste produced in Scotland in
2006 was 7.64 million tonnes. The analysis shows that the amount of commercial waste
generated is substantially larger than the amount of industrial waste; and
o in terms of business sectors, hotels & restaurants came third in the tonnage of waste produced
at 591,659 tonnes, which is 7.7% of the total. In first and second place were retail &
wholesale with 34% and miscellaneous business & service activities at 15.3% respectively.
15. Napier University 2006. Estimation of commercial and industrial waste produced in Scotland in 2004: final
report to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). Centre for Statistics:
o compared to the 2008 report, this estimated a higher industrial and commercial waste total of
8.96 million tonnes produced in Scotland.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 108

16. Eunomia 2008. Regional biowastes management study: summary report. East of England Regional
Assembly:
o this study investigated the potential future requirement for additional treatment capacity for
separately collected biowastes from the municipal, commercial and industrial waste streams;
and
o an estimate of the arisings and availability of biowastes from catering (i.e. hotels, restaurants,
pubs/bars) within the East of England region is 135,000 tonnes per year, with 68% being
generated by restaurants. It is assumed that, although very limited amounts are currently
being captured, all arisings go to landfill.
17. SEPA. Waste data digest 8: key facts and trends. Retrieved online at http://www.sepa.org.uk/waste/wastedata.aspx [Accessed 24/01/08]:
o this booklet presents data on arisings, recovery and disposal of municipal, commercial and
industrial wastes in Scotland. Between 2004/05 and 2006/07 the total waste arisings for
Scotland increased by 18%; and
o there was a 21% decrease in commercial waste arisings from 2004/05 to 2006/07, unlike the
other sectors where volumes either increased or were consistent.
18. Letsrecycle 2009. Scottish plastics recycling fund launched. Retrieved online at http://www.letsrecycle.com/
[Accessed 25/02/09]:
o this article talks about a 5 million capital grants scheme aimed at improving Scottish plastics
recycling infrastructure as part of a zero waste plan; and
o it is suggested that only 10% of waste plastics collected in Scotland are reprocessed within the
country, with the rest sent to plant in England or exported to China.
19. Environment Agency 2005. C&I survey 2002/3: Wales waste type & disposal/recovery options:
o this survey provides data related to waste management by sector name and region. Out of a
total of 5,271,000 tonnes of waste managed by the three regions in Wales (i.e. disposed of,
recovered, reused, recycled, thermally treated, transferred, treated and unrecorded), the
hotels & catering sector accounted for 184,700 tonnes, of which 91,800 tonnes was disposed
of to landfill, 7200 tonnes was recovered , 14,000 tonnes was reused, 64,000 tonnes was
recycled, 1100 was thermally treated, 3800 was transferred, 1500 tonnes was treated and 400
tonnes was unrecorded.
20. Dawson & Probert 2007. A sustainable product needing a sustainable procurement commitment: the case of
Green Waste in Wales. Sustainable Development 5, 69-82:
o this article focuses on how green waste compost can become an accepted and viable product
in Wales and suggests how sustainable procurement initiatives could be used to facilitate the
inclusion of green waste compost in contract specifications;
o the context of the study is the Landfill Directive which introduces a maximum disposal figure
for all EU Member States with regard to the landfilling of biodegradable waste. In 1999/2000
Wales landfilled approximately 1,038.000 tonnes of biodegradable municipal waste. At 2%
growth rate, it is estimated that 1,258,000 tonnes of biodegradable municipal waste will need
to be diverted from Welsh landfill by 2020; and
o based on the Wise About Waste strategy, Wales must achieve a 40% recycling/composting
rate with a minimum of 15% compositing and a minimum of 15% recycling. This is different
from the English strategy which seeks to recover value from waste either by recycling or by
composting according to the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions
(2000).

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 109

21. Milne 2006. UK carbon trading proposed. Utility Week, 11/17/2006, 26:10, 6;
o the Energy Performance Commitment (EPC) scheme for organisations such as major retail
chains using more than 3GWh of electricity was proposed by the UK government as one way to
ensure they cut carbon emissions by 1.2 million tonnes by 2020;
o an alternative policy option by Defra is a system of voluntary reporting of emissions and
energy performance and voluntary benchmarking of this performance against comparable
activities. This approach would be developed for specific sectors such as hotels, supermarkets
and offices; and
o it was noted that there is limited experience of benchmarking schemes in the UK but that such
initiatives have proved successful in other countries.
22. Defra 2007. Report of the Food Industry Sustainability Strategy Champions' Group on Waste. Retrieved
online at www.defra.gov.uk
o this report provides 24 recommendations that arose out of assessing the Food Industry
Sustainability Strategy (FISS) published in 2006 based on six industry-led champions groups;
and
o the report suggests that the food industry generates about 10 million tonnes of waste, which is
about 10% of the industrial and commercial waste stream. The main focus was on the food
manufacturing and food retail sectors, whilst the food service and food wholesale subsectors
were considered to a lesser extent.
23. WRAP 2007. Realising the value of recovered plastics. Banbury, WRAP:
o based on a market analysis, this report focuses primarily on the recycling of packaging plastics;
and
o data suggests that 22% of plastic packaging is recycled in the UK and, to meet the target of a
24% rate by 2010, a further 70,000 tonnes of material needs to be recovered per year.
24. WRAP 2007. Realising the value of recovered paper. Banbury, WRAP:
o based on a market analysis, this report focuses primarily on recovered paper;
o over the previous three years, the collection rate of recovered paper is estimated to have
grown by 10% and then slowed to only 3% in 2006; and
o 55% of paper and board consumed in the UK is collected for recycling.
25. WRAP 2008. Realising the value of organic waste. Banbury, WRAP:
o based on a market analysis, this report focuses primarily on organic waste;
o UK annual organic waste is estimated to be around 25 million tonnes, mainly split between
food waste and garden waste; and
o the majority of organic material recovered for composting is garden waste, with a rapid
increase in garden waste kerbside collections offered by local authorities over previous years.
26. WRAP 2008. Realising the value of recovered glass: an update. Banbury, WRAP:
o based on a market analysis, this report focuses primarily on glass;
o glass recovery increased over the previous year with around 1.5 million tonnes of container
glass being recycled by June 2008; and
o municipal glass collections rose by 30% in 2006/07 to almost 1.2 million tonnes; however,
meeting Defra targets for 2008 to 2010 would mean overall recovered glass volumes might
need to reach 1.8 million tonnes by 2010.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 110

27. Valpak 2005. PackFlow 2008: UK compliance with the 2008 targets of the European Packaging & Packaging
Waste Directive, Volume 1: project report. Retrieved online at:
http://www.valpak.co.uk/docs/packaging/packflow_2008_vol_1.pdf [Accessed 21/01/09]:
o this report focuses on the UKs packaging recycling performance and examining the
contributions made by individual packaging materials;
o paper/card packaging is the dominant material in terms of its contribution towards overall
recycling tonnages; the tonnages of glass and plastics that have been recycled have both more
than doubled since 1998, with glass recycling exceeding 1 million tonnes per year for the first
time at the time of the report; aluminium recycling too has more than doubled, but the growth
in steel recycling has been rather less, whilst wood recycling has been more volatile with no
consistent growth pattern;
o between 1998 and 2004, the recovery of packaging waste in the UK increased progressively
from 32.6% in 1998 to 55.5% in 2004. Recycling also improved from 28.2% in 1998 to 49.6%
in 2004;
o in particular, material recycling for paper rose from -3.9% in 1999 to 4.5% in 2004; glass rose
from 15.6% in 1999 to 22.7% in 2000, then declined to 7.2% and -2.5% in 2001 and 2002
respectively before rising again to 15.3% and 21.6% in 2003 and 2004 respectively. On the
other hand, plastic started at 58.1% in 1999, dropped to 3% in 2000, rose again to 32.1% and
33.5% in 2001 and 2002 respectively, but dropped heavily again to -10.9% in 2003, with only
7.2% recycled in 2004;
o almost 80% of packaging recycling was derived from industrial and commercial sources in
2000, at 2,637,300 tonnes compared to 709,000 tonnes from households;
o UK business targets for 2006 to 2008 show that the tonnage of packaging waste recovered
through EfW plant increased from about 450,000 tonnes in 1998 to 600,000 tonnes in 2003,
and operational EfW capacity was expected to increase from 3.1 million tonnes per year to
more than 5 million tonnes per year by 2008.
28. Environment Agency 2007. National Packaging Waste Database: summary of recovery and recycling 2008:
o this business waste survey provides data on the amount of waste accepted for UK reprocessing
and waste exported for overseas reprocessing for three-quarters of the year 2008. The figures
show that the total waste accepted or exported steadily increased from 1,726,753 tonnes in
the first quarter to 1,787,460 tonnes in the third (i.e. total recovery including recycling).
29. Environment Agency 2007. National Packaging Waste Database: summary of recovery and recycling 2007:
o this business waste survey provides data on the amount of waste accepted for UK reprocessing
and waste exported for overseas reprocessing for four quarters of the year 2007. The figures
show that the total waste accepted or exported steadily increased from 1,668,920 tonnes in
the first quarter to 1,751,597 tonnes in the fourth (i.e. total recovery including recycling).
30. Environment and Heritage Service 2001. Commercial & industrial waste arisings survey 1999/2000.
Retrieved online at www.ehsni.gov.uk [Accessed 20/01/09]:
o the quantity of waste produced in Northern Ireland within industry and commerce was
between 389,000 and 676,000 tonnes in the year 2000, with retail trade producing 9.8% of
the total;
o by material composition, the most commonly produced waste is mixed waste which is 50% of
all waste produced and typically consists of paper, cardboard, kitchen waste and metals (i.e.
rarely hazardous); and
o 61% of waste in the year 2000 went to landfill.
31. Department of the Environment 2005. Towards resource management: the Northern Ireland Waste
Management Strategy 2006-2020:
o this is a report on a review of the Northern Ireland waste strategy largely based on the policy
measures identified in the first waste management strategy of 2000 and updated to address
emerging legislation and key issues raised by stakeholders.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 111

32. Urban Mines 2008. Commercial and industrial waste data analysis of the North West region. NWRTAB:
o this analysis sought to improve understanding of recycling and recovery potential by sector,
waste substance and geographical location to aid market development for the collection, reuse,
recycling and recovery of waste materials currently going to landfill; and
o there is potential for 2.5 million tonnes of additional recycling and 2 million tonnes that could
be used for energy recovery. 80% of wastes that are recyclable but currently landfilled are
generated in the commercial sector, paper and card being the most prominent. 83% of
recoverable waste for energy is also in the commercial sector.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 112

Bibliography of all published literature sourced in the public domain


Publication

Relevant?

Accor 2006. Accor Hotels Environmental Charter Practical Guide. online


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emissions in the UK & Germany. European Environment 14, 235-250.
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BBC News 2008. Food waste on 'staggering' scale.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7389351.stm
Bohdanowicz, Simanic and Martinac 2005. Sustainable hotels: environmental reporting. The
Green Globe: World Sustainable Building Conference, Tokyo, 27-29 September 2005.
Burgos-Jimenez, J., Cano-Guillen, C.J. and Cespedes-Lorente, J. 2002. Planning and control of
environmental performance in hotels. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 10:3.
Caterer & Hotelkeeper 2007. 10 ways to make your hotel greener. Caterersearch.
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CESHI. What's worth 9m and gets chucked in a large hole in the ground?
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European airlines. International Journal of Tourism Research, 7, 249-259.
Chan, K.T., Lee, R.H.K. and Burnett, J. 2001. Maintenance performance: a case study of
hospitality engineering systems. Facilities, 19:13/14, 494-504.
CIWM 2005. National Waste Strategy for England: 2005 review - lessons learned report and
position statement. SLR Consulting Limited.
CIWM 2007. CIWMs responses to the review of Englands Waste Strategy May 2006 compared
to Waste Strategy for England 2007.

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Cockshott, M. 2008. Daniel Thwaites Brewery: Environmental Statement Jan 2008. Daniel
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Coskeran and Phillips 2004. Economic appraisal & evaluation of UK waste minimisation clubs:
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Defra 2007. Report of the Food Industry Sustainability Strategy Champions' Group on Waste.
www.defra.gov.uk

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N

N
Y
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The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 113

Publication

Relevant?

Defra 2008. Business Efficiency Resource and Waste Programme: metric results for 2006/07.
http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/business/support/pdf/0607-metrics-results-paper.pdf
Defra 2008. Designing waste facilities: a guide to modern design in waste.
http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/waste/pdf/designing-waste-facilities-guide.pdf
Department of Environment Northern Ireland 2005. Towards resource management: the
Northern Ireland Waste Management Strategy 2006-2020.
Defra (2005). Producer responsibility obligations (packaging waste) Regulations 1997 (as
amended).
Dewhurst and Thomas 2003. Encouraging sustainable business practices in a non-regulatory
environment: a case study of small tourism firms in a UK National Park. Journal of Sustainable
Tourism, 11, 5.
Diggleman and Ham 2003. Household food waste to waste water? That is the question. Waste
Management & Research, 21, 501.
East Midlands Development Agency 2008. Cutting out waste in food and drink. The Food
Processing Faraday.
Emery et al. 2003. An in-depth study of the effects of socio-economic conditions on household
waste recycling practices. Waste Management & Research, 21, 180.
Enterprise Inns 2008. Carbon management: head office.
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Enterprising Times 2008. Scottish & Newcastle Pub Enterprises environmental/sustainability
policy. Scottish & Newcastle Pub Enterprises.
Environment and Heritage Service 2001. Waste arisings survey for Northern Ireland (19992000): industrial, commercial and municipal.
Environmental Protection Division 2003. Wales public sector sustainable waste management
guidance manual. http://www.wales.gov.uk [Accessed 24/01/09]

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Enviros Consulting Ltd 2009. Market development study for the East Midlands. Banbury, WRAP.

Envirowise 2006. Resource efficiency at a small hotel. Envirowise case study.

Envirowise. Better management of fats, oils and greases in the catering sector. Envirowise
guide (GG809).
Envirowise 2006. Holiday village saves by minimising water use and waste: a case study at
Center Parcs, Whinfell Forest. Envirowise case study.

Y
Y

Envirowise 2008. Hotel saves money with resource efficiency. Envirowise case study.

Envirowise 2008. Crannaig House. Scottish Tourist Businesses.

Envirowise 2008. Glencoe Cottages. Scottish Tourist Businesses.

Envirowise 2008. Slochd Mhor Lodge. Scottish Tourist Businesses.

EPSRC SUE Programme Sustainable Waste Management Consortium 2002. Strategies and
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Eshet et al. 2006. Valuation of externalities of selected waste management alternatives: a
comparative review & analysis. Resources, Conservation & Recycling, 46, 335-364.
Eunomia 2008. Regional Biowastes Management Study summary report. East of England
Regional Assembly.
Fairmont Hotels and Resorts 2001. The green partnership guide: a practical guide to greening
your hotel. Toronto, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts.
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in Scotland. Waste Management & Research, 21
Food MarketWatch 2008. UK food and drink: failure to comply with environmental legislation
could cost manufacturers dearly. Food MarketWatch, Datamonitor.

N
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Y
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The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 114

Publication

Relevant?

Gilg and Barr 2005. Encouraging environmental action by exhortation: evidence from a study
in Devon. Journal of Environmental Planning & Management, 48 (4), 593-618.
Green Audit Kit 1993. The D.I.Y. guide to greening your tourism business. West Country Tourist
Board.

N
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Green Globe 1994. Developing an effective environmental policy. London, Green Globe.

Green Globe 1994. Managing energy for hotels. London, Green Globe.

Green Globe 1994. Managing energy for restaurants and catering facilities. London, Green
Globe.
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Green Globe.
Green Globe 1994. Understanding the potential environmental impacts of your business.
London, Green Globe.

Green Globe 1994. Water management for hotels. London, Green Globe.

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Globe.
Green Tourism Business Scheme 2008. Compost toilets & green design. Case studies.
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Gustafson and Partlow 2002. Environmental forecasting and strategic planning practices in
country clubs: an exploratory study. International Journal of Hospitality & Tourism
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http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2008/10/09/323901/how-to-reduce-your-foodwaste.html
Heldal, Breum, Nielsen and Wilkins 2001. Experimental generation of organic dust from
compostable households waste. Waste Management & Research, 19, 98.
Higgins 2008. Get the waste and weigh out: 23rd annual packaging trends study.
www.foodengineeringmag.com
Hospitable Climates and Carbon Trust 2006. Three new hospitable climates.
http://www.hospitableclimates.org.uk/Documents/pdf/PressRelease/May252006.pdf
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award: corporate responsibility case studies. http://www.ihgplc.com/ [Accessed 18/01/2009]
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responsibility case studies. http://www.ihgplc.com/ [Accessed 18/01/2009]
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International Hotels Environmental Initiative 1993. Environmental management for hotels: the
industry guide to good practice. Oxford, Butterworth-Heinemann Ltd.
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J D Wetherspoon 2007. Bringing you the best UK pubs and the best ale and wine festivals
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Jafari and Marin 2002. Sustainable hotels for sustainable destinations. Annals of Tourism
Research, 29:1, 266-268.

N
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Y
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The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 115

Publication

Relevant?

Jensen and Nielsen 2001. Recycling for all: preliminary criteria for the design of disabilityfriendly receptacles. Waste Management & Research, 19, 498.

Kirk, D. 1996. Environmental management for hotels. Oxford, Butterworth Heineman.

Letsrecycle 2009. Scottish plastics recycling fund launched. http://www.letsrecycle.com/


[Accessed 25/02/09]
Malmborg and Strachan 2005. Climate policy, ecological modernisation and the UK emission
trading scheme. European Environment, 15, 143-160.
Marriott 2008. Water, waste & energy reduction.
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Marston's 2007. Environmental report 2007: waste.

Martinac and Bohdanowicz 2003. Attitudes towards sustainability in chain hotels results of a
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Mintel 2008. Waste arisings: waste management (industrial report) UK December 2008.
Mintel, MBD Limited.
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Mintel, MBD Limited.
Mintel 2008. Waste treatment: waste management (industrial report) UK December 2008.
Mintel, MBD Limited.
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Mitchells & Butlers 2008. Corporate Social Responsibility: environment. http://www.mitchellsbutler.com [Accessed 24/01/09]
Napier University 2006. Estimation of commercial and industrial waste produced in Scotland in
2004: final report to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). Centre for Statistics.
Napier University 2008. Estimation of commercial and industrial waste produced in Scotland in
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Petts 2003. Barriers to deliberate participation in EIA: learning from waste policies, plans and
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[Accessed 24/01/09]

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N
Y
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The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 116

Publication

Relevant?

Reeve-Johnson, R. and Page, S. 2008. Summary of C&I information: research methods and
data
Richards, Glegg and Cullinane 2004. Implementing chemicals policy: leaders or laggards?
Business Strategy and the Environment, 13, 388-402
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landfilled in Wales. SLR Consulting Limited, Wales.
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Ltd. www.seeda.co.uk
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Thomas, C., Dacombe, P., Maycox, A., Banks, C., Khan, T. and Slater, R, 2007. Identification of
key resource streams in commercial & industrial waste from small businesses in the food
sector. The Open University, Milton Keynes, Integrated Waste Systems Research Group.
Todd, M. and Hawkins, R. 2001. Waste counts: a handbook for accommodation operators.
CESHI, Oxford Brookes University.
Travel Trade Gazette 2007. Talking rubbish scream if youre green: week 14 hotels breeze
into action. Travel Trade Gazette UK & Ireland, United Business Media.
Tzschentke, N., Kirk, D. and Lynch, P.A. 2004. Reasons for going green in serviced
accommodation establishments. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
16:2, 116-124.
Urban Mines 2007. Study to fill evidence gaps for commercial & industrial waste streams in the
North West region of England. NWRTAB, Urban Mines.
Urban Mines 2008. Commercial and industrial waste data analysis of the North West region.
NWRTAB.
Valpak 2005. PackFlow 2008: UK compliance with the 2008 targets of the
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Webster, K. 2000. Environmental management in the hospitality industry: a guide for students
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Welsh Assembly Government 2008. Municipal Waste Management Report for Wales, 2007-8.
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Whitbread plc 2006. Our waste management and recycling: Whitbread plc environment report
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Woollam, Williams and Griffiths 2006. An investigation into the kerbside recycling behaviour of
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WRAP 2007. Glass collected from licensed premises: determination of how much glass is
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Y
N
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
N
Y
Y
Y
N
Y
Y
N
Y
N
Y

WRAP 2007. Realising the value of recovered paper. Banbury, WRAP.

WRAP 2007. Realising the value of recovered plastics. Banbury, WRAP.

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The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 117

Publication

Relevant?

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http://www.instituteofhospitality.org/info_services/is_pdf/WRAP_INTRO.pdf
WRAP and HCIMA (undated). Recycling material.
http://www.hospitableclimates.org.uk/Documents/pdf/FactFiles
WRAP and HCIMA (undated). What waste costs you.
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Yorkshire Regional Development Agency 2008. Reducing waste into and out of your business.
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Yorkshire Regional Development Agency 2008. Yorkshire given millions to improve waste
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Zero Waste Alliance 2002. Green hotels: opportunities and resources for success. Portland, Zero
Waste Alliance

N
N
N
N

N
Y

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 118

Appendix J Peer review by SRI Research


and WRAPs comments on the points
made
Readers should note that the peer reviewer did not review the carbon
and cost savings figures and methods which were added subsequently.
Introduction
In 2010 WRAP commissioned an independent peer review of a draft of this report. The aims of the peer review
were to:

review the report and form conclusions on whether the methodology employed is sufficiently robust to
form a basis for policy and decision making;
review the report and form conclusions as to whether the estimates of waste quantities provided can be
used as a basis for policy making; and
provide recommendations on improvements to the methodology and future research priorities.

Because the peer review was carried out on a version of the report prior to proof reading. Cross-references have
been updated using this version of the report although some of the referenced text may no longer appear wordfor-word. Inverted commas and indentations are used to contain text that the peer reviewer has extracted from
the report he reviewed. WRAPs comments on the peer reviewers comments are shown below each comment.

Apparent contradiction: businesses using council recycling services


PEER REVIEWER
The following statements in section 1.1 (page 8) appear to be contradicted by the percentages set out in Figure
16, Section 4.6 (page 53), which illustrates the proportion of businesses utilising council-provided kerbside
recycling or bring sites for at least some of their recycling. The figures shown in Figure 16 might be considered
significant but certainly do not constitute a high percentage.

Recycling rates within the sector are relatively low, with a high percentage of businesses utilising facilities
that are supposed to be restricted to households (p.8)
Evidence from other studies has suggested that a significant proportion of hospitality businesses use
household waste collection systems and this is especially the case for recycling streams in rural areas (p.8)
WRAP
This study deliberately excluded hospitality premises which did not pay for removal of their mixed (residual)
waste (see section 2.4.5) so we would expect to find lower levels of use of council services than reflected in the
hospitality sector as a whole. However, it seems likely that the fewer businesses use council services than the
literature review suggested.

Choice of the Catalyst database as a sampling frame


PEER REVIEWER
The choice of the Caterlyst database is a controversial one. While commercial databases and other data sources
such as local authority housing data for household wastes may be more up-to-date, they are not populated using
a standard method. For this reason, ONS data, even if considered less accurate should have been used.
Information on company name, address, telephone number and sub sector data could have been mapped onto

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry

119

the ONS database. At the very least, the views of ONS on what database was most appropriate should have
been sought formally. This is particularly important, given the decision to use the ONS data for estimating later in
the project.
The decision to use ONS data on the number of businesses for a given SIC code and geographic area
(presumably from the IDBR) is the correct one, as only data collected using a standardised methodology, can be
used for benchmarking and comparison. However, this further calls into question the decision to use the
Caterlyst database for the waste sampling/auditing phase of the project.
WRAP
The peer reviewer makes a valid point. Indeed, the choice of which database to use was finely balanced and
prompted much discussion within the advisory group. We chose to use Caterlyst for a number of reasons, the
most important being that it provided access to a much larger sample of business than ONS data (see section
2.4.1 on page 13). We accept that there are potential issues of discontinuity in subsequently using the ONS data
for scaling up the estimates. By way of explanation, we had originally intended to use Caterlyst data for scaling
up but as we progressed through the project it became clear that the data we were collecting would not form an
adequate basis for estimating total quantities of waste and instead we chose to use national survey data. It then
became necessary to use ONS data because that formed the basis for the national survey. This is a difficult issue
which all future studies will need to address; although ONS data appears to be the gold standard there are
significant shortcomings for many sectors which may mean it cannot be used.

Use of GIS to assess the urban/rural spread


PEER REVIEWER
Section 2.5.2 on page 20 states:

Because the location of the businesses had to be within reasonable driving distance of the sorting sites, and
the sorting sites were all in urban areas, there were initial concerns that sampling just from a city centre
location may bias the data collected. To test whether these concerns were justified, Geographic Information
System (GIS) mapping was carried out that suggested a diverse range of urban and rural businesses could be
captured. A detailed example of such a map is provided in Appendix C.
The map provided in Appendix C simply shows the zones and the towns/settlements contained within them. It
does not provide any analysis which indicates that the zones constitute a diverse range of urban and rural
businesses.
WRAP
The peer reviewer is correct to say that no specific analysis was carried out, but we deemed a visual
assessment to be sufficient for this purpose given local knowledge on the nature of the areas in the study. The
map provided in Appendix 3 provides a simple illustration of the geographic range of the settlements contained
within each of the different radius from the sorting locations. This was done to allow the visual identification of
the inclusion of both urban and rural businesses. For example, within a 40 mile radius of the sorting location,
businesses located in the main cities of Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield would be included, as would
rural communities in the green belt in between, and those in the peak district between Manchester and Sheffield.
A more detailed visual assessment was undertaken to ensure that the zones highlighted captured a mixture of
diverse range of geographical locations which would be typically found across the UK.

Lack of information on sub-sampling methods


PEER REVIEWER
A range of statements in the report suggest that sub-sampling was carried out as part of the waste audits, but
there does not appear to be any explanation in the report of the methodology employed to obtain sub-samples.
On page 21, for example, the report states:

Throughout the waste audits, emphasis was placed on collecting as much residual waste as possible (p.21)

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 120

This suggests that on occasion, a sub-sample of residual was taken; however, the report does not set out how
this was carried out on-site. The report goes on to state:

Where practicably possible, all waste available for collection was collected, including co-mingled waste
destined for recycling. This was then transferred to one of the seven central waste sorting depots. It was not
possible to collect all of the waste presented due to a range of logistical issues and in some cases there
simply being no material to collect. The priority throughout the project was to ensure that, as a minimum, the
mixed residual waste was collected since this was the focus of the research.
Table 7 on page 23 sets out the number of samples by waste stream and the percentage, which clearly shows
that priority was given to residual wastes, with 118 samples out of 138 being 100% of the available material.
However, Chapter 2 is the methodology section, and the report needs to set out what methodology was chosen
to select wastes for sub-sampling and estimate the size of the sample as a percentage of the available materials.
WRAP
The peer reviewer makes a valid point and this section should have covered the approach to sub-sampling, albeit
that the approach was used rarely. We have added an explanation in section 2.5.3.3 on page 22. This explains
that the constraints of working on-site meant that an ad hoc approach to sub-sampling had to be taken involving
scooping as large a sample as practically possible from each container into a labelled hessian sack. We accept
that this may have introduced sampling bias, especially for heterogeneous waste streams such as residual waste,
which is precisely why the approach was restricted to premises where it was absolutely essential to take a subsample. More formal sub-sampling techniques such as coning and quartering were simply not available to us
because it would involve taking away the entire container which companies were uncomfortable about or
emptying the container in the car park which would be unacceptable for health and safety reasons, even if
there was enough space.

Decision not to use the recycling data


PEER REVIEWER
Section 2.6 on page 27 states:

Given the emphasis of the research on the mixed waste stream, a relatively small number of samples were
taken of waste set out for recycling, so the decision was taken not to use recycling data from the waste
audits in any subsequent calculations.
This decision requires a rationale. From the figures in Table 6, it is clear that the numbers of samples taken for
recycling collections varied considerably. For example, Table PR1 below shows the sample numbers for paper
and card, and comingled, and the numbers of each which were 100% samples:
Table PR1. Material sample numbers and numbers of each which were 100% samples
Material
No of samples
No 100% sampled
Paper and card
54
30
Glass recycling
77
31
Comingled
23
17
These figures may be sufficient to provide a reasonable case for their inclusion in the composition calculations.
WRAP
Although the peer reviewer is correct that for some recycling streams the sample size is reasonably high, we
stand by our decision not to use these samples as the basis for estimation. This is because we believe that
national data, from Defras survey of industry and commerce, is a more reliable source of information. In
retrospect attempting to characterise both the recycling and residual waste streams was too ambitious for a
project that already provides many logistical challenges, and future studies should focus on one or the other.

The decision not to always sample all residual waste


PEER REVIEWER

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 121

Section 2.6.1 on page 28 states:

In cases where it was logistically impossible to take away all of the waste available, the approximate volume
of the sample was recorded at the site.
It then describes the use of a bulk density factor based on the waste collected, calculated by dividing the known
weight by the estimated volume to get kg per litre. This was the applied to the estimated volume of the
unsampled waste. The decision not to sample all residual wastes generates a need to provide two volume
estimates - total volume of wastes on-site and volume of sample wastes. Given that the report states that that
priority was given to residual wastes (and that this was agreed at the inception meeting), the potential for
inaccuracy and/or bias introduced by the sub-sampling of residual wastes needs to be balanced against the
resources required to sample 100% of all residual wastes.
An analysis of the figures for residual waste sampling in Table 7 on page 23 shows of the 138 samples taken,
118 were 100% sampled and another 9 were sampled between 40% and 100%, leaving only 11 sampled from
0% to 40%. Given that a decision was made not to include the other material types in the estimates, due to the
small number of samples, it appears from the data in Table 7 that a relatively insignificant reallocation of
resources would have allowed 100% sampling of residual wastes. This would have been a more optimum use of
project resources, and more importantly, a more robust methodology, as it does away with the need to carry out
volume estimates to estimate bulk densities.
WRAP
The peer reviewers comments are correct in principle avoiding sub-sampling would provide more certainty in
the estimates. In total sub-samples of residual waste were taken for 18 businesses (excluding the two 0%s for
which no waste was presented). In all cases this was because the container was so large that it was impractical
to decant the contents into the back of a Luton-size van. It would, of course, have been possible to make
alternative arrangements such that the entire container was transported to a sorting site where the contents
could either have been sorted in full or a more reliable approach to sub-sampling taken, such as coning and
quartering. For this study we did not deem this necessary. However, it is a key learning point from the project
and it is likely that in future studies WRAP would require all waste to be sorted, or a more formalised approach to
sub-sampling taken.

Questioning the bulk density factors


PEER REVIEWER
In Section 5.5, Table 27, the report sets out the bulk densities derived from the study and compares these with
ESA/EA, explaining the much lower bulk densities derived from this study as compared to the ESA/EA figures as
being almost certainly attributable to the fact that the ESA/EA data was taken from larger containers as they
arrived at treatment/disposal facilities whereas the waste from this study was typically from 1,100 litre containers
or less which had not been transported. This assertion requires supporting evidence as the explanation provided
is unlikely to account for the differences in the figures.
WRAP
While it is a fact that the containers in the ESA/EA study were larger, the conclusion drawn from this is
conjecture and there is no specific evidence to support it. The peer reviewer therefore makes a valid point and
we have changed the sentence in question to read may be attributable to .
PEER REVIEWER
Following the worked example in Table 11, the study does set out the likely sources of error associated with the
approach, including:

Although applying the bulk density factor derived from the sampled waste to the unsampled waste in any
particular company is probably robust, there is evidence from the study that bulk densities varied quite
significantly between apparently similar establishments.
This certainly places a question mark over the bulk density factors derived and applied in this study and further
emphasises that the decision to sub-sample the residual wastes may have introduced an unnecessary source of
potential inaccuracy. At the very least, the bulk density factors produced from the study should have been

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 122

reviewed prior to use the inclusion of Table 27, setting out a comparison of this study and ESA/EA bulk
densities appears to be an afterthought this analysis should have been carried out prior to deciding on the
methodology for collection of residual wastes. It is recommended that a small additional research project should
be carried out to benchmark the bulk density estimates produced in this study. Given the reservations expressed
above on the use of the bulk density factors, it is recommended that a sensitivity analysis be carried out to
evaluate the effects on assumptions on bulk density on the overall composition estimates.
Given the reservations set out above, it is agreed that the decision not use the waste audit alone to estimate UK
figures is likely to result in more robust and accurate estimates. The data sets chosen for the estimation of UK
hospitality mixed waste composition figures are the best combination available to ensure robust and transparent
estimates, with the proviso that, as recommended above, a sensitivity analysis is carried out to evaluate the
effects on assumptions on bulk density on the overall composition estimates.
WRAP
The factors were reviewed as part of the project and a decision was made to use them in preference to any
other set of density factors. Further, we stand by our decision to do so as we believe that using the bulk density
factors derived from this study for the purposes of scaling up any unsampled waste is the most appropriate
method. However, we do agree that there is scope for further investigation of bulk density factors and that the
sensitivity of using different factors should be tested. This is now beyond the scope of this study although had
we realised in advance that the factors would prove to be so different from published factors we would have built
an element into the work to do so.

Selecting the average amount of waste per company


The peer reviewer commented on an earlier version of the report in which the 2002/3 EA data had
been used for grossing up, prior to the release of the 2010 Defra data. The point made is also
relevant to the Defra data hence the comment has been retained.
PEER REVIEWER
The report describes a provisional gross up based on the SEPA waste per business figures, which resulted in a
significantly larger total waste figure (approximately 65% higher) when compared to using averages from the EA
data set, as the basis for using EA data for all the UK nations. However, while demonstrating that the figures
would be larger, it does not provide any explanation or justification for assuming that the EA data is the more
accurate. If the EA figures are to be used as the basis for UK estimates, then a clear rational must be provided
which set out why the EA data set is considered to be the most accurate. It is recommended that an analysis be
carried out which investigates the reasons for the disparity between the EA and SEPA figures (an explanation is
provided in Section 2.7.4, however this does not provide supporting evidence).
WRAP
The main reasons for using the EA [Defra] data rather than the SEPA data was that unlike the SEPA study it had
been collected by face to face interviews rather than a postal/internet survey; it is thought that this approach
provides more comprehensive and reliable data although the peer reviewer is correct to state that there is no
evidence to support this assertion. We agree that it would be extremely useful to research the effect of
methodology (face to face versus postal/telephone/web) on estimates of industrial and commercial waste to
guide future decisions about which methods to use. This was outside the scope of this study.

Gross up methodology for UK waste estimates


PEER REVIEWER
The gross up methodology is in general a robust approach, with each step in the calculations transparently set
out. However, one key assumption may require further investigation. The study states:

Our assumption is that other mixed waste is the closest possible approximation to the mixed (residual)
waste which was sampled during the WRAP waste audits.
The waste audits used an adapted household waste classification system, which is an ad-hoc system developed
over many years in the UK, whereas the EA [Defra] dataset will have used the Substance Oriented Category

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 123

(SOC) list. The methodology for categorising wastes is different between both systems and the study has not
provided a rationale to support the assertion that other mixed waste is the closest possible approximation to the
mixed (residual) waste which was sampled during the WRAP waste audits. The project team should have
consulted the EA to ascertain their views on the robustness of this assumption. It is recommended that this
assumption is further investigated via consultations with the EA and review of the relevant Eurostat guidance.
WRAP
The peer reviewer makes a valid point, and in reworking the figures using Defra 2010 data rather than EA
2002/3 data we did take the opportunity to consult with the consultants that carried out the study. They
confirmed that where waste was encountered in a mixed form it was coded as other mixed waste. We therefore
believe the use of this code is the most appropriate for this study.

Measurability of sources of error


PEER REVIEWER
The study (section 3.3 page 37) lists sources of error, described as likely to be significant but not measurable,
including respondent error (e.g. people remembering incorrectly), observation error (e.g. inaccuracies associated
with estimating how full a container is or its volume), estimation error (e.g. inaccuracies in bulk density factors or
in information about the size of the population) and representativity error (e.g. assuming that the sample taken
is representative of a whole years waste). It should be possible to measure the potential level of error of at least
some of these sources, through the use of sensitivity analysis, for example, as recommended above for the bulk
density factors.
WRAP
We agree that some of these sources of error are potentially capable of measurement; for example, it would be
possible to investigate the scale of respondent error through a tracking study, and observation error by sending
other teams to weigh and record waste quantities. It is also possible to assess the impact on estimates of some
of these sources of error through sensitivity analysis, as the peer reviewer remarks. This was not done as part of
this study and we accept that in future it would be good practice to do so. However, we do not believe that this
significantly affects the conclusions we have drawn.

Summary waste estimates for the UK hospitality sector


PEER REVIEWER
The study states (p.37) that:

the figures presented in this report should be taken as indicative of the nature and scale of waste produced
by the hospitality sector our current best estimate
It is agreed that the figures should be best presented as indicative, however, the application of the additional
analyses recommended may make the claim that they constitute the current best estimate more robust.
WRAP
We agree and will undertake to do so in future studies.

Is a composition-led approach practicable?


PEER REVIEWER
A composition led approach may be practicable, however, the methodology set out in this study does not provide
a robust basis for concluding that it has been shown to be practicable.
WRAP
We disagree with the peer reviewer on this point, as evidenced by the following considerations:
1. Can it be done?
The fieldwork was delivered and data collected from more sites than originally planned and we showed
that existing techniques and equipment used for household waste composition audits could be adapted
for use with businesses.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 124

2.
3.

4.

5.

6.

Was it safe?
The fieldwork reported no health and safety incidents.
Could it be repeated?
A simple collection and sorting methodology was developed and executed which could be easily
repeated. Key learning points have been clearly documented in the report.
Did it add too much risk?
Risks of business participation are no different to any alternative approach. This approach worked
closely with individual businesses therefore reducing the risk of low quality data.
Did it provide useful information at a reasonable cost?
Yes, it provided an indication of national waste composition based on actual weights rather than visual
inspections. This was not previously known with any degree of reliability.
Is the approach scalable across all sectors?
Whilst it is practically scalable across all sectors, it would be more expensive and time consuming to
assess all sectors concurrently using this approach and therefore more economically viable to adopt this
approach for a single rather than multiple sectors.

If the project were to be repeated, there are some areas where improvements could be made, and these are set
out in the report (chapters 5 and 6).

Peer reviewers summary


The approach set out for scaling up is transparent and the data sets chosen are probably the best available. The
key areas potentially affecting accuracy/reliability are:

use of sub-sampling and bulk density conversion factors for mixed/residual wastes;
the assumption is that other mixed waste is the closest possible approximation to the mixed (residual)
waste which was sampled during the WRAP waste audits; and
the assumption that the EA [Defra] data is best for the national estimates as it is based on on-site
audits rather than self-reported.

Recommendations have been made above which should enable a better understanding of the potential impacts
of these assumptions on the final estimates.
Estimating waste quantities and the composition of mixed waste streams is a complex, time-consuming and
costly area of applied research and trade-offs between costs and data quality are usually unavoidable. However,
the report writing and structure, in particular Section 2, makes the review of the report and analysis of its
findings particularly difficult, as it lacks transparency and a coherent structure.
A key conclusion to be drawn from this peer review is that the project team carrying out the work did not have a
coherent and complete methodology prior to commencing work. Examples include:

not having a finalised sampling methodology when recruiting businesses for the audit; and
not analysing the costs and benefits of residual/mixed waste sub-sampling vis-a-vis 100% sampling,
prior to applying the volume estimate/bulk density approach, even though mixed waste had been
agreed as a priority at the inception meeting.

This in turn has led to a report narrative and structure, which does not set out a logical step-by-step approach,
but which reflects the fact that the methodology changed as the project progressed. Given that, the waste
estimates for the UK hospitality sector generated from the study should be presented as indicative when being
used for policy and decision making, and efforts made to quantify the effects on the estimates of changes in the
key assumption areas described above.
Recommendations for additional research are summarised below.

A small additional research project should be carried out to benchmark the bulk density estimates
produced in this study.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 125

A sensitivity analysis should be carried out to evaluate the effects on assumptions on bulk density on
the overall composition estimates.
An analysis should be carried out which investigates the reasons for the disparity between the EA
[Defra] and SEPA figures.
The assumption that other mixed waste from the EA [Defra] dataset is the closest approximation to the
residual (mixed) sample category from the study in further investigated via consultations with the EA
[Defra] and review of the relevant Eurostat guidance.

WRAPs response
We agree with the peer reviewers assessment of the potential weaknesses of the study. We would remind
readers of the exploratory nature of the work which meant that methods developed as we progressed and were
only finalised part-way through the project. As a result, we have learned a lot about how to carry out work of
this nature and will take forward the peer reviewers recommendations into any future research of this kind.

The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry 126

www.wrap.org.uk/hospitality