CLOSED LOOP ENVIRONMENAL Solutions UK limited (CLES) has undertaken an audit of the waste produced at Heathrow, as part of the international airport’s ongoing sustainability review.
Using CLES’s ‘Turnstile’ mobile material recovery facility (MRF), a comprehensive analysis of all waste coming from various operational areas of the airport has been carried out, as part of Heathrow’s commitment to recycle 70% of its waste by 2020.
During the course of the study, which involved analysing the waste from Heathrow Terminals 1, 3 and 4, both landside (before security) and airside (after security), over 100 tonnes of waste was sorted into multiple material streams. The scope was then extended to include a cabin waste analysis from airlines in conjunction with the local animal health authority.
Initial trial results have revealed there is more packaging waste and more waste in general that is suitable for recycling than previously thought. In particular, it was found that up to 60% of cabin waste analysed could be recycled.
Mark Robertson, Heathrow’s waste & environment manager said: “Waste management at an airport is complex. There are numerous regulations and frameworks to operate within, and many stakeholders across the airport generating many different types of waste. This pioneering analysis is the first step in fully understanding what waste we are producing and the infrastructure and processes needed to achieve our stretching recycling targets.”