In 2009, Stansted set a long-term goal to recycle 60% of total airport waste by 2015. That target is already in sight with 57.2% of total airport waste recycled in 2011, up from 54.79% in 2010, and 57% already recycled in the first quarter of this year.
Initiatives driving the improved recycling performance in 2011included:
Separating food waste for composting (+26.6% in 2011 against 2010)
- A scheme that was developed in 2010 to divert food waste in the terminal from landfill. In 2011, 200 tonnes of food waste was sent for composting.
Investment in mixed recycling (+42% in 2011 against 2010)
- Installation of a new compactor, that’s a shared facility for waste generated in the terminal and train station, and maximises mixed recycling (paper, plastic and card).
Installed dedicated bins for plastic bottles (+505% in 2011 against 2010)
- Dedicated bins for plastic bottles introduced into the terminal and staff rest areas. 46 tonnes collected in 2011 against 7.6 tonnes in 2010.
Whilst first quarter performance for 2012 has been strong, focus is now turning to general waste in the terminal that doesn’t filter into recycling streams - currently 1,500 tonnes a year.
Despite the availability of recycling bins, items such as newspapers and plastic bottles are still regularly placed in general waste. So Stansted Airport Limited, the recycling division of ISS and on-airport waste management contractor Grundon are rolling up their sleeves and manually auditing the volume of recyclable materials collected in general waste.
Commenting on Stansted’s waste management performance, the airport’s Environment and Utilities Manager, Kathy Morrissey said:
“To recycle 60% of total airport waste by the end of 2015 was a challenging target and we’re delighted to be within touching distance three years ahead of schedule.
“We know not all passengers and staff are mindful of recycling so it will be interesting to see what recyclable materials are sourced during the general waste sorting exercise, the results of which will help us identify areas of the airport operation that need more focus.
“Our success in recycling is only made possible by everyone working together. It’s the small efforts that impact on the bigger picture and we will continue to find new ways of encouraging staff and passengers alike to not only reduce the amount of waste produced, but to reuse and recycle what they can.”