Why Do Hotels Have Small Trash Cans? (Explained)

Why Do Hotels Have Small Trash Cans

Have you ever checked into a hotel room, looked around at all the amenities, and then scratched your head wondering why there’s such a tiny trash can to accommodate your disposal needs? You’re not alone. It seems that hotels, despite catering to guests from around the world and devoting countless resources to ensure stellar customer satisfaction, tend to overlook the size and practicality of their trash cans.

Reduction of waste in hotels

Hotels worldwide are increasingly focusing on reducing waste to minimize their environmental impact.

Various initiatives have been adopted, like phasing out single-use plastics, implementing recycling programs, and encouraging guests to reuse towels and linens.

As part of this trend, some hotels appear to be using fewer and smaller trash cans in guest rooms.

This seemingly minor change can encourage guests to generate less waste, while also potentially making the room cleaning process more efficient for hotel staff.

By nudging guests to produce less trash, hotels hope to contribute to global waste reduction and promote a greener, more sustainable travel experience. [1]

Saving Time & Money

In addition to the sustainability perspective, people also believe that having fewer trash cans can save time and money for hotels.

With only one trash can to empty per room, housekeepers can service the rooms quicker.

This time-saving, multiplied across multiple rooms, can lead to significant savings on labor costs over the course of a year.

As smaller trash liners typically cost less than larger liners, they lowering operational expenses for the property.

By creating logistical savings in maintaining rooms, hotels can then pass these savings on to their customers, making their properties more attractive to travelers seeking affordable accommodation options. [2]

Disappearance of trash cans in hotel rooms

It seems that trash cans are becoming a vanishing breed in hotel rooms as guests have noticed fewer trash receptacles during their stays, leading to trash piling up in their rooms.

Hotels appear to be reducing waste by having fewer trash cans in rooms, but this can leave guests without a place to dispose of their garbage.

Some travel bloggers believe that hotel rooms with two people should have at least 2 trash cans – one in the bathroom, and one in the main room.

So, it is important for hotels to strike a balance between their waste reduction efforts and guest comfort. [3]

Lack of national standards for hotel trash cans

Disappearance of trash cans from hotels rooms might be due to the fact that there are no national standards for hotel trash cans, which allows hotels to opt for fewer or smaller receptacles.

The American Hotel & Lodging Association encourages hotels to reduce waste, as a 300-room hotel can generate up to three tons of waste per day, 60% of which is recyclable.

However, this leaves guests wondering whether hotels are prioritizing waste reduction over their guests’ basic needs and convenience.

Chief Complaint from hotel guests

A growing number of hotel guests have been raising concerns about the decreasing size and number of trash cans in hotel rooms.

Complaints mainly revolve around not having enough bins in the rooms, especially for guests traveling with families or children who may produce more waste.

Response from Hilton representative

This situation is a gentle reminder for guests to inquire about trash disposal arrangements should they encounter any concerns during their stay.

This approach encourages open communication between guests and hotels in a friendly and approachable manner.

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