Composting and recycleing. Here’s how to do it here.

It’s no secret to anyone that the hotel industry is not the world leader in green living.

And we’re happy to announce we have been awarded the 2013, 14, 15, 16 (you get the idea) Tripadvisor  Green Leaders Gold award.


This means our property meets many of the highest standards of energy efficiency and recycling known in the industry.  (Not bad for a building over 100 years old!)

Anyway, waste disposal is part of our program.

We handle recycling, and the inevitable food waste that traveling entails, as part of a larger system of on site composting and gardening.

Most people know that up to 40% of the landfill volume is in household waste that could have been recycled or composted.

Here is an interesting blog post about food waste: 

(There are rumors that the hospitality/travel industries create more than double the normal waste, through disposable items, and travelers without the resources to compost, travel with food or feed the pet dog or chicken.)

Where all that waste goes unless we redirect it: landfills.


Spokane does have several land fills, and a history of them in the past until this creature arrived:


The Spokane Waste to Energy Plant.  Its just west of downtown, near the airport.  It burns trash, and produces a concentrated ash which is not as concentrated as you might think. 65% reduction in weight.

Here are the stats.

Ash Quantity:  65% reduction by weight of original MSW weight.
Ash Disposal: Rabanco Regional Landfill, Klickitat County (near Roosevelt, WA).
Ash Transport: Container capacity 15 tons. Configuration: two containers per load, 30 tons per truck, 8-10 truckloads/day. Intermodal train container, 25-28 ton capacity.
Iron recovery: 2.5% of original weight of MSW. Iron is not recovered with traditional landfilling.

So in our area it’s not so bad if you fail to recycle newspapers–though nice if you do–but it really is an issue if more solid, nonflammable items get dumped in the hopper.  If it is not magnetic–like aluminium or glass–it is going to go for eternity to the Rabanco Regional Landfill.  Until that fills up.

Anyway, people who are normally happy to compost and recycle at home may not know how to do it away from home, or what kinds of things are locally acceptable. And because guest cannot do it themselves they must depend on systems in place where they stay.

So here is the straight dope–more on the chickens later.

All the units have a trash can or two, and all have a stash of extra paper bags (usually in a drawer or cabinet very close to the kitchen trash can), for recycling.


If you want to recycle,  Spokane accepts unsorted:

tin cans (rinsed)

aluminium cans (rinsed)


glass of all types


Plastics 1-7 of the variety you find in milk jugs and yogurt containers


Paper of non waxed and non-greasy varieties (clean but no greasy pizza boxes)


Junk mail.


egg cartons


You can’t recycle, in the single stream containers:

Garbage/food waste (that goes in the compost crock)
Plastic Bags
Food Contaminated Items
Microwave Trays
Ceramics & Dishes
Light Bulbs
Window Glass & Mirrors
Hazardous Waste Containers
Un-Numbered Plastics
Sharp Metal
Shredded Paper
Coated & Laminated Paper Products

We will empty the recycling bag for you, but if you feel like it, the eventual destination looks like this:


These other receptacles are for things we do not want to compost–like branches, they go in the green waste bin to the left–and that cannot be recycled, these go in the dumpster.


But now the fun part!

The apartments (of late) also have something that looks like this–or a stainless model:

8586423_166 GS34028_06

This is a compost crock.  It is lined with a compostable bag made of corn starch which will last a few days when wet–possibly up to a week.  The crock has a charcoal filter in the top and we wash them after every visit.  In it you can put:

Coffee grounds

tea bags

fruit/vegetable peelings or remains

food scraps of all types

(Yes, with our system small amounts of meat or bone will be okay.  (We are trying to make this easy.) But if you have a tasty bit of something that you have to leave and is not quite garbage please consider how happy it would make the chickens.  They will eat anything that you can (with good nutritional conscience!), with the exception of raw onions, potato peels or very very salty things .  A cheery call of “Chook–chook–chook” will get you a lot of attention on the south east side of the garage.  :))

If you leave compostable materials in your crock, we will put them here:


The one on the left is an insulated, rodent-proof container that operates year round.  To the right are the sources of brown energy–straw and leaves.

Here is where the compost, when it is dirt, ends up–with plans of growing Swiss Chard, tomatoes and squash that you can use the next time you visit in summer:


There are six of these container planters stashed around the property–they each hold 55 gallons of soil made from the organic leavings of our organic yard care program–leaves and grass clippings.  And in the summer they will of course look a lot more interesting.

Behind the set pictured above is our new addition–the chicken coop!


Please see:

They are here on the composting part of the page to hint that they like treats. . . .IMG_1769

Henny Penny says: Quick!!!!! 


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