Gatwick airport has teamed up with DHL to become the first airport in the world to turn Category 1 waste into energy, which it will use to heat the North Terminal and power the new airport waste plant itself.
Category 1 waste includes food waste or anything that comes with it, like meal trays, cups and packaging – so the majority of waste from non-EU flights. Until now, this waste required specialist processing elsewhere so as to prevent the possible spread of infectious material and disease.
The new move from Gatwick will, however, dispose of this waste safely and also convert it into energy, resulting in a boost to the airport’s recycling rate of approximately 85 per cent come the year 2020… higher than any other airport in the UK at the moment.
“We expect others to follow Gatwick’s lead as we realise our ambition to become the UK’s most sustainable airport. Already we are one of only a handful of organisations in the country to achieve a triple series of Carbon Trust Standard awards, and more important environmental initiatives will follow soon,” chief executive officer of Gatwick Stewart Wingate said.
Back in May, Gatwick’s Decade of Change report revealed that the airport had cut its carbon emissions by more than 32 per cent and its water usage by 29 per cent in the last five years. What’s more, 49 per cent of its operational waste was recycled, with none sent to landfill. In addition, energy use was slashed by 16.6 per cent.
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