As today is the annual Global Recycling Day, I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to discuss how to play a role in protecting the environment and giving our waste a second life. Sorting household waste is an effort in which many people try to participate.
Depending on your local community's rules, your type of accommodation, habits, and what is possible for you, I imagine your experiences may be quite different, and I would love to know more!
- What level of waste sorting is available near you?
- Do you provide travellers with several bins for sorting and/or a compost space?
- How do you encourage sorting? For example, do you leave them a message, explain it in person, or maybe you even mention it in your house rules?
- Is this a point on which you receive questions and requests?
I can't wait to read your answers.
Here's how unreasonable we are here, @Nick : Guests have to take their trash home with them.
We're leave-no-trace, so anything that gets carried in also gets carried out.
Our best guests are hikers who do this anyway anywhere they go. (I do this as a hiker and as an Airbnb guest.) Our worst... well, never mind except to say the raccoons love those guests, and their garbage, to pieces...
I'm not a complete meanie. If someone is driving across country or catching a plane that day, they can leave their recyclables and non- for me to deal with. There are instructions and a spot for that. Our township requires that trash be carefully sorted, so I have to check it myself before it goes in our bins.
I like to imagine we are helping people think about the waste they create. Nothing like bags of your garbage in the car after a holiday to "drive that home."
I do expect some are more annoyed than enlightened. But the good news is they will appreciate the rest of you hosts all the more!
wow, @Lawrene0, consider me enlightened! I wouldn't expect a regulation like this, but I think it would make guests consider what they consume and maybe even result in a change of behaviour. Very interesting.
Would you say most guests are ok with it or annoyed? I could see myself wanting to help the host and the environment, especially in a listing like yours, which is so connected to nature. And with all this free time on the guest's hands, I don't see a reason not to.
On a different note, are we seeing you tomorrow at the meetup? It's been a while.
Guests know it when they book, @Nick , so I guess they are okay with it. It's a self-filter, really: Those who would be most annoyed will just book some nice normal place where they can leave their traces and trash behind. Hikers are our target audience, and they are already used to packing out.
We do get some bucket-listers who don't understand and leave various degrees of mess, but I think that is not unusual in any listing. No one has told me directly that it's a stupid rule. 🙂
Yes, hoping to make it to the meet-up. It's always nice to see everyone.
@Nick Yes we have recycling bins outside the doors of our apartments. Sadly many guests don't recycle as much as they could but this is not helped by the UK having different coloured bins and rules between different local authorities across the country. Also guests, as commented often on here, seem unable to read the basic instructions we leave them.
I can relate to what you are saying @Mike-And-Jane0. I was so confused with the process when I first arrived a few years ago. I think I had to use 4 different bins in the flat, find out the different days for collection, etc. But yes, some people are just not interested in that (or any house rules for that matter). The dreadful "hotel guests" as I like to call them. You can only try
where I live the recycling boxes are clearly marked with recycling items that can be put in them
I also have a note in my guest book about recycling.
I agree guests don't read everything but mine seem very keen on recycling - perhaps it's the demographic I attract.
OMG @Nick don’t get me started. Trash sorting is a thorn in my hosting side. “Sorting household waste is an effort in which many people try to participate.” Emphasis on ‘try’. Every day I’m left musing why folks struggle with this so much. And I’m continually amazed at how many struggle with it.
I provide clear written directions right on the refrigerator where they can’t be missed. I provide all the various containers and bins for sorting, and all are easy access. I make it so simple. An example of what I’ll find on checkout - several beverage containers in the trash, along with various plastics and some egg shells, one or two beverage cans in the recycling bin, and a plastic fork plus a single produce scrap in the compost bucket. This is no exaggeration. Attaching a pic of the compost bucket on a recent checkout. Yes, that is a foil liner from a condiment bottle.
@Nick I typically mention it generically as 'X followed most of our house rules', especially if there were a few other 'asks' that were overlooked. While it's an ongoing point of frustration for me, I don't feel it's something that warrants a specific call out in a review. We do get a fair number of repeat guests and I've taken to mentioning it when they rebook.
Our county provides curb side recycling bins that are picked up every two weeks. I also provide a small recycling trash can that I got from Staples that looks like a waste paper basket that I put beside the indoor trash can that holds the tall kitchen bags. The only instructions are to put trash into provided bins outside if they feel like it. The unit has its own smaller trash and recycling bins in the drive. I then relocate their trash and recycles into the final larger bins that go out on the curb. The problem we have in the County is that most of the residents put things in the recycling bins that can't be recycled: toys, bags, anything plastic or just trash etc. China also quit taking recyclables to improve their air quality so now is major issue in other places for air quality.
I have a garden but haven't yet gotten around to composting. It's been on my list but haven't yet decided on the right approach. I think a container would be best for me. As for guest they don't produce much organic waste at all. Mostly they eat or and the deliveries come in paper containers. I don' t think I would trust them to add things to a compost bin, as there can still be a lot of chemicals in some foods. Although would keep options open for their own compost bin that could be used for flowers beds. Also if I allowed pets I would want to compost their waste where it would biodegrade safely. So far only one guest brought a fake service animal and didn't clean up after it and next guest stepped in it. For our area domestic animals are one of the largest source of water pollution. Plastic and recyling are major issues but the choices food people eat has much more impact impact on environment and their heath as well.
Here is a pic of my winter garden. Not very big.
@Colleen253 @Good to know! Looks like we cross posted. My guest aren’t good at sorting recyclables either. At least my neighbors are all really good about it. Probably not ending up where people think but maybe at least trying to do their part.
I'm with @Colleen253 on this one @John5097. I wouldn't trust guests putting things in your compost. I imagine many people could perceive this as a chore and being on holiday, wouldn't feel positive about it. It's the I'm-on-a-brake mentality, and thus taking a break from everything I would typically be doing, even if that means not sorting the waste properly. Sad but true, I think.
The garden looks great 🙂