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Waste Disposal and Pollution Control

Solid and Liquid Waste Management in Hotels

As the hospitality industry continues to grow, it is becoming increasingly important to prioritize sustainable waste management practices. Proper disposal of solid and liquid waste, sullage, and sewage is crucial for maintaining a clean and healthy environment for guests, staff, and the surrounding community. In this blog, we will explore the best practices for managing waste in hotels.

Understanding the Different Types of Waste

Solid waste refers to any non-liquid waste generated in the hotel, such as food waste, paper, plastics, and other disposable items. Liquid waste, on the other hand, includes any wastewater generated by the hotel, including greywater (from sinks, showers, and washing machines) and blackwater (from toilets).

Sullage is the term used for waste generated from kitchen and laundry facilities, which can include fats, oils, and grease (FOG). Sewage is wastewater that contains human waste and is typically generated from toilets and other human waste disposal systems.

Disposal of Solid Waste

Effective solid waste management begins with proper waste segregation. Hotels should have clearly marked bins for different types of waste, including food waste, recyclables, and non-recyclable items. Staff should be trained to properly sort and dispose of waste to ensure it is sent to the appropriate disposal facility.

To reduce the amount of waste generated in the first place, hotels can take steps to minimize packaging and disposable items. For example, providing refillable toiletry containers instead of single-use plastic bottles can significantly reduce waste.

Disposal of Liquid Waste, Sullage, and Sewage

Liquid waste, sullage, and sewage must be treated before it can be discharged into the environment. Hotels should have a properly designed and maintained wastewater treatment system that includes a septic tank or sewage treatment plant.

Sullage waste can be more challenging to manage due to its high levels of FOG. To prevent blockages in pipes and damage to the environment, hotels should install a grease trap to capture FOG before it enters the wastewater system.

Pollution Prevention

Effective waste management also involves preventing pollution. Hotels should take steps to reduce their environmental impact, such as by using eco-friendly cleaning products and reducing energy consumption.

To minimize the impact of waste disposal on the environment, hotels should consider using composting and recycling programs whenever possible. This can significantly reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills, which can have a significant impact on the environment.


Effective solid and liquid waste management is critical for maintaining a healthy and sustainable environment for guests, staff, and the surrounding community. By prioritizing waste reduction, proper segregation, and pollution prevention, hotels can play a significant role in reducing their environmental impact.


Sewage Treatment

It is the process of removing the contaminants from sewage to convert it to a composition of clear liquid and solid, which are fit for discharge to the environment or for reuse.


  • In the most sophisticated treatment, clear potable water can be obtained while leaving only 5 percent to 10 percent of solids after treatment.

  • This solid part, called sludge, is further processed to produce what is called biosolid, which has many uses.

  • While hoteliers can discharge their sewage to the public sewerage, along with town sewage, for treatment in the city sewage treatment plant and final disposal.

  • Many hotels have opted for in-house, Sewage Treatment Plants, where they get fresh water for reuse and may use the sludge as manure for garden activities.

  • The fundamental principle of purifying sewage is to completely break down the original organic matter in it by the action of microorganisms (bacteria). These microorganisms digest (eat away) the original organic matter leaving a clear effluent and solids.

The stages in the treatment of sewage are as follows:

  1. Primary Treatment: This removes the suspended and floating objects by means of strainer, screens, grit chamber, sedimentation tanks, septic tanks, etc. The typical materials that are removed in this stage include large objects such as sticks, rugs, rocks, sand, gravel, fats, oils, grease, etc.

  2. Secondary Treatment: This treatment is designed to degrade the biological and organic content of the sewage by means of microbial action. The bacteria present in the sewage consume all the organic matter.

  3. A tertiary process with or without disinfectant: The final treatment is performed at this stage before making eventual disposal of the treated wastewater. Tertiary treatment comprises of many processes and includes filtration, disinfection, and removal of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus which encourage algae formation.  Disinfection can be done with chlorine, ozone, and ultraviolet treatment. In many cases, disinfection is done as the last activity (also called effluent polishing). The purpose of disinfection is to destroy residual bacteria in water after secondary treatment, thus rendering it very safe for final disposal.


Pollution related to Hotel Industry

  • Pollution of various forms is a cause of great concern for the existence of life on the earth. One of the most disconcerting effects of pollution is global warming. Other direct effects include increasing health problems, mental stress and strain, increase in the number of endangered species, ecological imbalance among others.

  • Hotels are properties where the very high intensity of human and machine activities occur day in and day out. This is bound to produce all sorts of pollution and is subject to very stringent pollution control measures.

  • In tourist destinations, there will be surface transport carrying guests to and from the hotels, thereby causing great pollution from automobile emission.

  • Hotel  Industry contributes to the following types of pollution:

  • Water pollution

  • Air pollution

  • Soil  pollution

  • Noise  pollution

Hotels and Water Pollution

  • Rampant discharge of wastewater and effluents into water bodies has played havoc with hygiene and ecology.

  • Wastewater disposal without proper treatment has severely affected marine life and living of downstream people using the water bodies for economic as well as day to day use of water.

  • Discharge of hot water also produces pollution in changing the aquatic environment of water bodies.

  • Hotels produce a lot of wastewater and many of them have now installed their own STP, which contributes greatly to reducing pollution as well as gaining economy by way of reuse of clear water.

  • This pollution can be minimized at the source by restricting chemicals that mix with water.

Hotels and Air Pollution

  • Hotels liberate gases and contaminated air from various utilities, such as kitchen gas and firewood ovens, fume from materials being cooked, boiler and diesel generating set exhausts, and release of refrigerant CFC, if there is any leakage.

  • If the boiler is fired with pulverized (powdered) coal, the exhaust gas will have a lot of dust particles leading to air pollution.

  • Diesel engines also produce pollutants such as carbon dioxide, carbon mono oxide and oxides of nitrogen.

Hotels and Soil Pollution

  • Hotels contribute to soil pollution by dumping their solid waste and sludge into the soil.

  • Excessive dumping of untreated or semi-treated sewage and sludge may lead to contamination of soil and also produce a foul odour.

Hotels and Noise Pollution

Hotels have quite a few noises generating sources such as engines, pumps, motors, etc. And sound produced in banquet halls.

Liquid Waste (Sewage) its treatment and disposal

  • Hotels produce a lot of wastewater and usually, the wastewater is disposed of in water bodies such as river, sea, lake or as landfill.

  • But acc. to the norms of the PCB (Pollution Control Board), sewage needs to be properly treated before it is disposed of.


Water Pollution

  • Water pollution is the contamination of water bodies (e.g. lakes, rivers, oceans, aquifers, and groundwater)

  • Water pollution occurs when pollutants are discharged directly or indirectly into water bodies without adequate treatment to remove harmful compounds.

  • Water pollution affects plants and organisms living in these bodies of water.

  • In almost all cases the effect is damaging not only to individual species and populations but also to the natural biological communities.

Polluted Water comes from 

  • Domestic sewage.

  • Industrial wastewater.

  • Agricultural wastewater.

  • Construction site stormwater.

  • Urban runoff (stormwater).

  • Petroleum hydrocarbons

  • Plastics

  • Pesticides

  • Heavy metals

  • Sewage

  • Radioactive waste

  • Thermal effluents Water Pollutant

  • Detergents

  • Chloroform

  • Food processing waste, (fats and grease)

  • Insecticides and herbicides.

  • Petroleum hydrocarbons, (gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuels, and fuel oil).

  • Lubricants (motor oil).

  • From stormwater runoff.


Preventing Water Pollution 

  • Conserve water by turning off the tap.

  • Mind what you throw down your sink or toilet.

  • Don’t throw paints and oils in water channels.

  • Use environment-friendly household products, such as washing powder, household cleaning agents, etc.

  • Take great care, not to overuse pesticides and fertilizers.

  • Don’t throw litter into rivers, lakes or oceans.

  • Help clean up any litter you see on beaches or in rivers and lakes, make sure it is safe to collect the litter and put it in a nearby dustbin.

Treating Polluted Water

  • Suspended, solid particles and an inorganic material can be removed by the use of filters.

  • Use of biological filters and processes can naturally degrade the organic waste material.

  • After the above two steps, chemical additives are supplied to get rid of any left-over impurities.


Sewage Pollution

Domestic households, industrial and agricultural practices produce wastewater that can cause pollution of many lakes and rivers.

  • Sewage is the term used for wastewater that often contains feces, urine, and laundry waste.

  • There are billions of people on Earth, so treating sewage is a big priority.

  • Sewage disposal is a major problem in developing countries as many people in these areas don’t have access to sanitary conditions and clean water.

  • Untreated sewage water in such areas can contaminate the environment and cause diseases such as diarrhea.

  • Sewage in developed countries is carried away from the home quickly and hygienically through sewage pipes.

  • Sewage is treated in water treatment plants and the waste is often disposed into the sea.

  • Sewage is mainly biodegradable and most of it is broken down in the environment.

  • In developed countries, sewage often causes problems when people flush chemical and pharmaceutical substances down the toilet. When people are ill, sewage often carries harmful viruses and bacteria into the environment causing health problems.

Methods of Sewage Disposal

Sewage  disposal is broadly classified  into the following types:

Methods of Sewage Disposal

Dilution – Raw sewage or partly treated sewage is thrown into natural water bodies such as sea, river, lake, marshy land, etc. Self-purification is the mechanism in this process, which is helped by the following factors:

  • Dilution of contaminants by dispersion in flowing water.

  • Sedimentation of particles to the water bed.

  • Oxidation of organic matter by dissolved oxygen in the water.

  • Sunlight, which kills harmful bacteria.

  • Microbial organisms consume the solid organic matter in sewage.



Air pollution is contamination of the indoor or outdoor environment by any chemical, physical or biological agent that modifies the natural characteristics of the atmosphere.

Sources Of Air Pollution 

  •  Household combustion devices.

  •  Motor vehicles.

  •  Industrial facilities.

  •  Forest fires


Pollutants causing Air Pollution

  •  Include particulate matter. (Particulate matter is the sum of all solid and liquid particles suspended in air many of which are hazardous. This complex mixture includes both organic and inorganic particles, such as dust, pollen, soot, smoke, and liquid droplets.)

  • Carbon monoxide.

  • Nitrogen dioxide

  • Sulfur dioxide

Harmful effects of Air Pollution

  • Effects on cardiovascular health

  • Effects on breathing (asthma).

  • Links to cancer

  • Effects on children

How to control air pollution?

  •  Maintaining a healthy distance between the industrial and residential areas.

  • The chimneys should be constructed tall in size so that the emissions must be released higher up in the environment

  • The sulfur must be removed after burning.

  • The gasoline must have anti-knocking agents.

  • The mining area should be planted with trees.

  • The coal fuel should be replaced with gas fuel to control air pollution. •

  • The automobiles must be designed with an emission control system.

  • The wastes must be removed and recycled in the industrial plants and refineries.

  • Plants like pine and Ribes need to be planted to metabolize the nitrogen oxides and other pollutants.

  • Timely servicing of the car helps to keep it in a good condition, and also minimizes fuel exhaustion

  • Using public transportation helps to prevent air pollution

  • Using alternative energy sources like solar energy, hydroelectric energy, and wind energy



  • Noise pollution is displeasing or excessive noise that may disrupt the activity or balance of human or animal life.

  • Noise means disgust or discomfort hearing from environment.

Sources of Noise Pollution

  •  Machines.

  •  Transportation systems.

  •  Motor vehicles.

  •  Aircrafts.

  • Trains.

  • Poor urban planning.

Effects of Noise Pollution

  • Noise pollution affects both health and behavior.

  • Unwanted sound (noise) can damage psychological health.

  • Noise pollution can cause

  • Annoyance

  • Aggression .

  • Hypertension .

  • High stress levels .

  • Hearing loss.

  • Sleep disturbances, and other harmful effects.

  • Chronic exposure to noise may cause noise-induced hearing loss.

  • Older males exposed to significant occupational noise demonstrate significantly reduced hearing sensitivity than their non-exposed peers.



  • Soil contamination or soil pollution is caused by the presence of xenobiotic (human-made) chemicals or other alteration in the natural soil environment.

  • It is typically caused by industrial activity.

  • Agricultural chemicals.

  • Improper disposal of waste. Soil Contaminating Chemical

  • Petroleum hydrocarbons.

  • Poly nuclear aromatic hydrocarbons.

  • Pesticides

  • Lead and Other heavy metals.

How to control soil pollution? 

  • Limit the use of fertilizers and pesticides

  • Awareness about biological control methods and their implementation

  • The grazing must be controlled and forest management should be done properly

  • The afforestation and reforestation must take place

  • Proper preventive methods like shields should be used in areas of wind erosion and wind breaks

  • Treating Wastes of industries.

  • Treating nuclear waste.

  • Proper disposing of plastics and other garbage materials.


Thermal Pollution 

  • Thermal pollution is the degradation of water quality by any process that changes ambient water temperature.

  •  A common cause of thermal pollution is the use of water as a coolant by power plants and industrial manufacturers.

  • When water used as a coolant is returned to the natural environment at a higher temperature, the sudden change in temperature decreases oxygen supply and affects ecosystem composition.

  • Fish and other organisms adapted to particular temperature range can be killed by an abrupt change in water temperature (either a rapid increase or decrease) known as “thermal shock.”


Solid waste and its management

Solid Waste

Solid waste is any non liquid, non soluble material ranging from municipal garbage to industrial wastes .

Solid waste includes

  • Garbage

  • Rubbish

  • Demolition products

  • Sewage treatment residue

  • Dead animals

  • Manure and other discarded material

Solid waste poses serious threat to the environment globally.

Types of Solid Waste


  • Biodegradable wastes are such waste materials which are and can be degraded by natural factors like microbes (e.g. bacteria, fungi and few more), abiotic elements like temperature, UV, oxygen, etc.

  • Some examples of such wastes are food materials, kitchen wastes and other natural wastes.

  • Microorganisms and other abiotic factors together break down complex substances into simpler organic matters which eventually suspend and fade into soil.

  • The whole process is natural which can be rapid or slow. Therefore the environmental issues and risks caused by biodegradable wastes are low.


  • Unlike biodegradable wastes, non-biodegradable cannot be easily handled.

  • Non-biodegradable wastes are those who cannot be decomposed or dissolved by natural agents.

  • They remain on earth for thousands of years without any degradation. Hence the threat caused by them is also more critical.

  • A notable example is the plastics which are a commonly used material in almost every field.

  • To give these plastics a long lasting effect, improved quality plastics are being put to use. This made them more temperature resistant and more durable even after use.

  • Other examples are cans, metals, and chemicals for agricultural and industrial purposes. They are the main causes of air, water and soil pollution and diseases like cancer.

Solid Waste Management in Hotels and Restaurants

  • Huge volume of solid waste is generated everyday in a hotel. Many of them, particularly organic wastes, comes from kitchen and restaurant residues.

  • Waste paper and other consumables from the other departments also form  substantial amount of solid waste.

  • They pose a huge environmental and sanitation problem if not collected and disposed properly.


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