Soap Recycling: Getting Involved with the Cause

Updated: Nov 22, 2019



This post is a follow-up from the last blog. Read the Introduction to the Guide to Soap Recycling here: https://bit.ly/2SB6ftz


How can the hospitality industry help?


Hotels are a fundamentally important part of the soap recycling process. They are important partners of soap recycling organizations, and must be included every step of the way.


How are they directly involved?

  • Collection

The soap bars are first collected from the hotels. There are various different ways that hotels and soap recycling organizations can collaborate to achieve this:

  1. Subscription: Hotels pay a subscription rate based on average room occupancy, and soap recycler provides hotels with shipping containers and labels.

  2. Hotel pays: The hotel delivers the soap to the soap recycling organization, via mail or delivery van.

  3. Self-collection: The soap recycler oversees collection, usually done on a set day each month.

  • Funding

Hotels can sometimes pay a subscription fee to the soap recycling program. The fee is based on the number of hotel rooms and average occupancy. This fee covers shipping, and helps cover some operating costs. Extras can be provided such as in-room forms to advertise the hotel is a participant.


  • Training staff

Hotel staff will be given training on how to collect and store the soap. The soap recycling organization will coordinate with staff on what storage setup will work best for them. The soap recycling organization may provide the hotel with labelled bins, a small container for the housekeeping trolley, and large containers for storage until collection, or hotels may want to provide their own.



What do hotels gain from this?

  • Contribute to an important environmental and social cause

Not only can they reduce waste from saving lightly-used soap bars from the landfills, but they can also help disadvantaged communities get access to basic sanitation at the same time.


  • Improve their public image as a result

As people across the world begin to care more about their environmental impact, hotels can show their customers that they are committed to a meaningful cause.



Who else can recycle soap?


Everyone can recycle soap!


It's as simple as changing your habits. For example, if you are staying at a hotel that does not partner with a soap recycling organization, then you can decide to take your bar of soap home to continue using to prevent the soap bar from being discarded to the landfills. Other groups who might consider starting a soap recycling operation include:

  • Student groups, high schools, and universities

  • NGOs with WISE Programs

  • Community individuals who share the same wish to make a positive impact in the world

  • Soap manufacturers


Volunteering


Regardless of the size of operation or organization, volunteers will always be a vital part of a soap recycling process. Volunteers can contribute to a team in three ways:


1. Manpower

Soap recycling is laborious, and volunteers can help with soap and bottle sorting, bar scraping, bottle washing and drying, liquids squeezing, hygiene kit assembly very easily, without prerequisite skills or intense supervision.


2. Awareness/ Relationship Building

Although resource-heavy, you can achieve this by setting up informational booths or conducting volunteering sessions at community-organized events. Find out how Soap Cycling's student interns did the informational session here.


3. Revenue Generation

Often times, large corporations allocate their budget for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), team building, and corporate philanthropy. Through partnering with these corporations, soap recycling organizations will be able to not only gain the first two points just touched but also receive revenue to be used. This can be done by setting up volunteer processing sessions for corporations either in their office or your warehouse. Find out more about how Soap Cycling runs its corporate volunteering sessions, recently largely facilitated by elderly employees from the MEY Program, here.



How you can help

No matter if you are a hotel who wishes to donate lightly-used soap, a public or private entity who wants to make a contribution, a non-profit organization who wants to help with Soap Cycling’s mission, or just an individual who wants to contribute their time to a valuable cause, you can help make a difference in a community’s life.


Contact your local soap recycling organization, or info@soapcycling.org for more information.



Sources

All information is taken from Soap Cycling’s Complete Guide to Soap Recycling.

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