Sunday, February 21, 2010

Airline and Airport Recycling

As many of you probably already saw in the Post, Green America came out with a report on the sorry state of recycling in the airline industry. Out of all the airlines, Delta and Virgin America earned the highest rating in the group, a B-, while United and US Air failed. No airline recycles all of the major recyclables: aluminum cans, glass, plastic, paper. The basic take away message is that 1) we should pressure the airlines to recycle and 2) in the meantime, if the flight attendant says they don't recycle, take your items for recycling off the plane and recycle them in the airport or at home.

Part of the problem is that most airports don't have recycling facilities. Earlier, I reported that in the DC area, the far-and-away leader in recycling is BWI Airport. BWI recycling went from less than 5% of waste in 2004 to 28% in 2006, which is extraordinary since only one or two US airports have over 25% and the percentage of total waste that is recycled in the United States is 32.5%. The BWI recycling program saves approximately $15,000 per year. Local recycling rules should apply to airports and airlines, which would legally force them to recycle.

1 comment:

  1. Recycle at the airport in those bins? Where everything gets mixed together and contaminated? You would be better off bringing it to the recycle center yourself. But in reality, who has time to do that? The airlines didn't get into business to recycle. They have enough to do with security, maintenance, safety, etc.... The recycling is the business of the garbage companies. Every airport should have a company like like Fort Lauderdale International has had for over 20 years and was sponsored by the airlines you are bashing. At Fort Lauderdale Int. they recycle 40% of waste, but more importantly reduce what goes to the "Waste to Energy" Plant (that's right they burn the garbage by law here and make hazardous ash) by 70%. Recycling is great but more important to that is reducing what is burned or landfilled and the whole concept of waste disposal in our country. The airlines are making efforts, but they are also under pressure to keep your ticket price down. Maybe we should start a fund to launch a program like at Fort Lauderdale nation wide and help the airports and AIRLINES do the right thing. Garbage Companies like Big Green WM are not here to recycle anything, they are hauling companies and make their money from hauling and filling air space in those landfills, but of course they will tell you how green they are on TV by burning garbage to make energy.

    Sorry for the rant, but if you look deeper into this issue you will learn what some of have known for a long time. There is a solution, but it isn't a bin in a terminal that everyone puts trash in and ends up in a landfill at the end of the anyways.