Living Green: Local hotels recycling leftover soap and shampoo - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Living Green: Local hotels recycling leftover soap and shampoo

Posted: Updated:

RICHLAND, WA - When you finish your stay at a hotel, you pack everything up and what happens to the leftover soap and shampoo in each room?

The answer most of the time is the landfill. But a few local hotels have joined forces with an organization to give that soap another life.

"If you can use it for something else, why not?" said Loly Jaime, a housekeeper at Homewood Suites. "Instead of just throwing it away, being able to help other people and other stuff, save it."

Homewood Suites in Richland, Hampton Inn at Southridge in Kennewick, and Holiday Inn Express in Pasco are all contributors to the "Clean The World" hospitality recycling program.

Clean The World was founded in 2009 in Florida and has grown rapidly in popularity...because not only does so much soap get thrown away at hotels, but there are people who could really use it, so they don't have to look hard to find a way to re-purpose it.

"These are valuable resources that other countries don't have that we use just so freely," said Julia Thomas, Assistant General Manager with Homewood Suites.

Here's how it works. The soap that's unused by guests gets sent to Clean The World. They take the soaps and sanitize them; melt them and make fresh bars that get sent to developing countries.

"They think that over last year as a whole, Hilton collected, I think it was over two million bars of soap," Thomas said.

But that's not all. The shampoos get sent to Clean The World as well, and if there's enough shampoo left in a bottle, Clean The World will donate it to a homeless shelter. If there's not, Clean The World will recycle the plastic bottle...making the concept all-inclusive for discarding hotel shower and bathroom products.