- In its first year of partnering with Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA), Texas Disposal Systems reduced the amount of waste being sent to landfill by 13%, according to Downtown Austin Patch.
- To achieve this, ABIA greatly increased the number of recycling containers in terminals, and also increased employee training, education efforts and customer service. The program now collects an average of 52 tons of recyclable material a month.
- Texas Disposal hopes to soon begin composting services at ABIA by including composting stations at food and beverage vendor booths.
With thousands of passengers filtering through the airport every hour, it's crucial that airports have proper waste management systems in place to keep recyclable materials out of the waste stream. Hartsfield-Jackson International in Atlanta — the world's busiest airport — is currently in the process of finding a contractor for a "Green Acres" project that would develop a recycling and composing facility on-site to dispose of airport waste. Airlines themselves are also increasing focuses on waste management by boosting diversion efforts, promoting sustainability to passengers and even turning marketing materials into travel bags.
A significant key to ABIA's success has been encouraging employee commitment through training and signage reminders, in areas like break rooms or on the tarmac. By getting airport employees on board with recycling programs, those on-the-ground "promoters" will help spread the message of recycling and keep busy travelers in-check with waste disposal.