March 14, 2018

Dear Boston Green Tourism Members,  

Our next meeting will be Thursday March 22 from 2:30 to 4:00 at  the  Lenox Hotel. This is the meeting that we rescheduled due to last week's snowstorm.

I thank our hosts: Daniel Donahue, Samantha Sorrin, Scot Hopps and Tedd Saunders.

Please note that we'll have one more speaker than listed previously--Michelle Lee Guiney of Waste Management.
I hope you can come!

T edd Saunders CSO, Sa unders Hotel Group,  & CEO, EcoLogical Solutions

Scot Hopps Vice President, Operations & Sustainability,  Saunders Hotel Group

Samantha Sorrin Director of Responsibility,  Saunders Hotel Group

Mr. Saunders, Mr. Hopps and Ms. Sorrin will discuss the Saunders Hotel Group's expansion of their sustainability program. The new and broader program, called Genuine Responsibility, will include a focus on wellness for guests and staff, and greater engagement with the community. 

Rachel Barney, Evening Housekeeping Manager, Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center

Ms. Barney will discuss 2017 green highlights for the Seaport Hotel.  She'll focus on new technologies that the hotel has incorporated, and on actions the hotel has taken to improve its sustainability message to clients and employees alike.

Cindy Zhu , Fellow, U.S. Department of Energy

The US Department of Energy's Better Buildings Initiative works with the hospitality industry to demonstrate energy efficiency successes and recognize market leaders. 

Attendees will learn about strategies for portfolio-wide energy reduction, the Better Buildings Financing Navigator tool, the latest in energy management and smart building technologies and relevant case studies featuring hotels that partner with DOE. 

Michael Youngs, VP Sales, Motili  

Mr. Youngs will show how hotels can streamline their HVAC, plumbing and electrical projects, maintenance and repairs with the use of the latest technology platform.  By using this platform, combined with the world's largest HVAC manufacturer, hotels can save time and reduce costs. 

Michelle Lee Guiney Total Recycle Program Manager, Waste Management
Ms. Guiney will briefly discuss the impact on hotels of recent changes to recycling markets, and how hotels can respond to them effectively. See the article below.


Managing your Waste in a Challenging Market:   Reduce Contamination / Get Your Recycling and Trash Loads Accepted
Michelle Lee Guiney, Total Recycle Program Manager for Waste Management, updated me on the state of recycling and trash disposal in this challenging time.
The challenge stems from China's decision to sharply restrict the materials they'll accept. China has been the world's biggest processor of recyclable materials, by far. Starting this past January, they don't accept lower-value materials, like mixed paper and plastics #3 - #7. For other materials, they set a limit of 0.5% contamination--a level that's very difficult to meet.
It will take time for the recycling markets to adjust to these new realities. For now, the supply of materials exceeds the demand--meaning that the commodity prices for recyclables are dropping. At times it's difficult to even find takers for some materials.
The market for trash disposal in MA isn't rosy, either. With landfills closing and waste incinerators at capacity, the MA Department of Environmental Protection is issuing noncompliance warnings and fines for trash loads that contain  Waste Ban  items. (Waste ban items are materials that aren't acceptable, by law, in landfills or incinerators.)
In response to these market forces, Waste Management and other haulers are working to improve the purity of their customers' recycling streams. They're providing more education about how to reduce contamination; their drivers are scrutinizing loads when they pick them up--and rejecting those with excessive contamination; they're devoting more resources to quality control at their facilities; and they're seeking markets for materials that are now banned by China.
Waste Management provides posters that educate employees about which items go into recycling and which go into the trash:
I encourage you to post them. If you have a different hauler than Waste Management, ask them to provide you with their educational materials.
The number one contaminant that gets recycling loads rejected is plastic bags*, including bagged recyclables. Here are Ms. Guiney's recommendations to eliminate them.
  • Eliminate the plastic liner bag from guest room and office recycling bins. Replace them with a paper bag or a "bottom liner."
  • Eliminate plastic liners from recycling receptacles for paper and cardboard.
  • If your hotel does use plastic liners:
    • Empty the contents of recycling bags directly into the recycling compactors, and discard or reuse the plastic liners. Ms. Guiney points out that it takes only five seconds to dispatch the liners, based on studies that she has conducted.
    • Don't double and triple line receptacles.
    • Don't leave rolls of plastic liner bags at the bottom of receptacles, because they often wind up in the collection barrels when the receptacles are tipped into them.
Perhaps China's decision to restrict its intake of recyclables will have  a silver lining--that businesses and residents will do a better job of keeping their recycling and waste streams pure.

*I don't suggest here that hotels change their use of plastic bags for handling food waste.


Zeninjor Enwemeka, WBUR News, March 7 
Hubway has been a big success in Boston. It will be rebranded as Blue Bikes this spring.
Over 100 new bike stations will be added in Boston, Brookline, Cambridge and Somerville by 2019, largely in under-served neighborhoods. The number of bikes in the system will grow from 1800 to 3000. For many hotel staff, commuting to work will become a little easier.


Carbon Free Boston Webinar 

Carbon Free Boston is the City of Boston* initiative to achieve  carbon neutrality by 2050. Its focus is on eliminating fossil fuel use for electric power, buildings and transportation; and, "transform(ing) Boston into a zero waste  city." 

At the webinar, presenters Cutler Cleveland and Michael Walsh, "will provide an overview of the project's objectives, timeline, outputs, and relevance to the City of Boston's carbon neutrality goal." They will also describe how businesses and institutions can engage with this program.

The webinar, "will be of special interest to energy managers and procurement staff, sustainability leaders, fleet and building managers..., and anyone associated with carbon reduction goals at their business or institution."

It will take place on Mar 21, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM. Click here to join the meeting. (If this is your first time using GoToMeeting, do a system check first.  

If you plan to attend, RSVP to Ryan Hopping (rhopping  

*Carbon Free Boston is supported by the Boston Green Ribbon Commission and Boston University.


Better Buildings Challenge, Los Angeles
Cooling towers are used to reject HVAC system heat to the atmosphere. They typically account for about 40% of a building's water use.
The Department of Energy document, linked above, shows how cooling tower water use can be reduced by adding improved controls, monitoring, and water treatment.

It compares the following cooling tower modifications on the basis of price, incentives, savings and payback: pH control with acid-based treatment, pre-treatment water softening, reverse osmosis and non-chemical treatments.

Andrew Marsh, buildpulse, October 18

A ir-side economizers provide free cooling by bringing cool outside air into buildings, thereby reducing the need for air conditioning. It's common for these systems to function improperly.

The author describes how to avoid problems that plague air-side economizers: stuck dampers and broken linkages, actuators that don't fully close dampers, worn blades and jamb seals, and sensors that are out of calibration.  

The following meeting will be 2:30 to 4:00. 

March 22 
The Lenox Hotel
April 5 
The Ritz-Carlton, Boston
October 11 The Langham, Boston

* We'll have one more meeting in the fall. I haven't scheduled the date yet.

See you March 22 at the Lenox!
Boston Green Tourism
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