Hundreds of kilograms of fresh, edible food are now being directed to the less fortunate.
Hundreds of kilograms of fresh, edible food are now being directed to the less fortunate.

Two partnerships have been entered into by the DoubleTree by Hilton on Flinders Street, Melbourne to put recyclable waste generated through its normal operations to good use, benefit those less fortunate, halve its environmental footprint and double its social impact investment.

As part of a group-wide commitment at corporate level for Hilton to significantly reduce the amount of usable product going to landfill, the Melbourne hotel is supporting the City Council’s ‘War on Waste’ program by joining forces with the Degraves Street Recycling Facility. This tie-up has allowed the hotel to redirect all of the kitchen’s edible and uneaten fresh food – more than 200 kilograms each week – away from landfill and repurposed into new meals for more needy individuals and families.

Further, a pact with SoapAid has seen the hotel donate over 140 kilograms of unused soap and personal toiletry products, which has seen these products go to individuals living on the street and in shelters, helping them to maintain a standard of personal hygiene. This in turn helps those struggling and down on their luck to stay motivated and potentially get back into the workforce by ensuring they can secure employment interviews and turn up in a presentable state.

Many of the world’s hotels have now done away with single-use plastic straws.

Like many hotels around the world, replacing plastic single-use straws with paper straws has seen the hotel cut 3,000 plastic straws from its annual rotation. The hotel is also selling reusable coffee cups, growing herbs in a rooftop garden for use in the hotel kitchen and restaurant and offering healthy menu options and wellness exercises such as yoga to meetings clients.

DoubleTree by Hilton Melbourne Flinders Street General Manager Gary Lucas said he was proud to see the hotel engaged in a local sustainability initiative.

“Having a world-class, innovative recycling centre just around the corner is an enormous benefit and we’re pleased that along with the other restaurants in our neighbourhood, we can make a significant impact to reduce the amount of food waste going to landfill.”

Degraves Street Recycling Facility Coordinator Niall Haran said it was particularly inspiring to see sustainability programs being supported by not just local cafes but now seeing attitude changes by larger corporations now getting involved.

“Their influence sets a new standard of environmental responsibility for hotels and larger brands across the country to follow. It shows that this movement crosses all boundaries and that working together as a community can make a real difference.”