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What happens to the partial toilet paper rolls and soaps when you check out of a hotel room?

San Francisco's hospitality industry generates tons of reusable materials, furnishings and more that are shared with the non-profit community
Thomas Wilmer
Thomas Wilmer

  Ms. Jo Licata spends full-time working with San Francisco’s non-profit organizations in partnerships with the Hilton San Francisco Union Square and numerous other SF hospitality enterprises.

Licata's mission as Hilton's Community Projects Manager is to provide non-profits with essential goods and supplies from food to furniture, mini-fridges and so much more. Items that otherwise might have headed to the landfill.

Mary Risley (L) with Food Runners visits with Jo Licata at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square
Credit Thomas Wilmer / Thomas Wilmer
Thomas Wilmer
Mary Risley (L) with Food Runners visits with Jo Licata at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square

  It’s all about reducing waste, and reuse of goods. Come along for an illuminating conversation with Jo Licata at the San Francisco Union Square Hotel.

A sampler of reuse requests fulfilled by the Hilton and partner enterprises throughout San Francisco include, food, kitchen supplies, furniture, coffee makers, and mini-fridges.

An example of a cool project birthed by Licata is the reuse of banquet linens that have reached the end of their useful service life.

The linens are re-purposed and live on as fashionable bags, artist canvas, and much more. And it gets better, as new jobs are created by those hired to sew the bags, and fashion items made from the banquet linen.

A sampler of the non-profit partnerships includes: Glide MemorialSt. Anthony’sFood ShiftFood RunnersSafehouseS.C.R.A.P., and the SF Carbon Fund.

Join correspondent Tom Wilmer as Jo Licata at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square shares her passion and the numerous community greater-good projects she has envisioned and stewarded over the past 20 years.  


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Tom Wilmer produces on-air content for Issues & Ideas airing over KCBX and is producer and host of the six-time Lowell Thomas award-winning NPR podcast Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer. Recorded live on-location across America and around the world, the podcasts feature the arts, culture, music, nature, history, science, wine & spirits, brewpubs, and the culinary arts--everything from baseball to exploring South Pacific atolls to interviewing the real Santa Claus in the Arctic.
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