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"Study: U.S. Airports Could Save by Recycling"
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Study: Airports Could Save by Recycling
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON -- U.S. airports waste hundreds of thousands of dollars each year
by discarding 4,250 tons of aluminum cans and other items that could be
recycled, a new report says.
The two-year study by the Natural Resources Defense Council examined
recycling efforts at 30 U.S. airports. The report found that the industry
threw out 9,000 tons of plastic and enough newspapers and magazines to fill
a football field to a depth of more than 230 feet.
"Airlines in the U.S. throw away enough aluminum cans every year to build 58
new 747s," said Allen Hershkowitz, a senior scientist at NRDC. "Along with a
huge amount of recyclable waste, the industry is throwing away a significant
amount of money."
Lyndsay Rossman, a spokeswoman for the industry group Airports Council
International-North America, said airports are constantly seeking ways to
save money and preserve the environment.
"Our airport members often have programs in place in their communities to
capture the benefit of reducing waste streams through recycling," she said.
"In addition, ACI-NA provides forums for our members to showcase their
recycling and environmental programs so that other members can implement
Among the study's findings:
* Airports put out about 1.28 pounds of waste per passenger in 2004,
about one-third of the total amount Americans generate in an entire day.
* Recycling 70 percent of the aluminum cans currently discarded would
save the amount of energy used by 5,000 U.S. households in a year.
* Aluminum accounts for 1 percent of the air travel industry's waste
stream. But the energy benefits of recycling one ton of the substance are 11
times that of recycling one ton of newspaper and eight times that of
recycling the same amount of plastic.
The report called for better recycling programs. It cited cost savings of
more than $100,000 a year at airports in Seattle-Tacoma and Baltimore, whose
programs include sending used coffee grounds to a compost facility instead
of the dump.
The study was released Tuesday.
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