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.