CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- The Hotel at Kirkwood Center has found a new way to reduce waste while helping save lives around the world.
Most guests at the hotel stay just one night, leaving behind partially used soaps and shampoos that for years have gone straight into the garbage. Not any more.
The hotel is partnering with a non-profit called Clean the World. They take those partially used amenities, recycle them, and distribute them to people in need.
According to Clean the World, nearly 17 million children under the age of 5 have died in the last five years from diseases that could have been prevented with proper hygiene. Clean the World wants to reduce that number. With the help of donations from hotels like Kirkwood, they've been able to distribute 18 million bars of soap to families in 96 countries.
”It's a way to save on waste. It's a way to make a contribution in a meaningful way. I mean we're just talking about soap, but really to the health of the world,” said Lee Belfield, General Manager of The Hotel at Kirkwood Center.
Kirkwood simply collects all the partially used amenities, boxes them up, and using a preprinted shipping label from Clean the World, ships it to the non-profits recycling center in Florida.
Kirkwood pays a monthly fee for Clean the World to take their amenities. Those at the hotel say that's a small price to pay. This program will help the hotel keep nearly 22,000 little bars of soap out of the landfill each year.