A Location-allocation Model for Bio-waste Management in the Hospitality Sector

Netw Spat Econ. 2023 Jun 10:1-29. doi: 10.1007/s11067-023-09593-0. Online ahead of print.


Tourism generates huge amounts of waste. It has been estimated that about half of the waste generated by hotels is food and garden bio-waste. This bio-waste can be used to make compost and pellets. In turn, pellets can be used as an absorbent material in composters and as an energy source. In this paper, we consider the problem of locating composting and pellet-making facilities so that the bio-waste generated by a chain of hotels can be managed at or close to the generation points. The general objective is twofold: i) to avoid waste transportation from generation to treatment points and product transportation from production to demand points, and ii) to implement a circular model in which the hotels themselves become the suppliers of the products they need (compost and pellets) by transforming the bio-waste that they generate. Any bio-waste not processed by the hotels has to be treated at private or state-run plants. A mathematical optimization model is presented to locate the facilities and allocate the waste and products. The application of the proposed location-allocation model is illustrated with an example.

Keywords: Circular economy; Mixed integer programming model; Sustainability; Tourism.