Airport recycling rates soar with terminal food waste collection

15th May 2013

Stansted Airport Limited worked with catering outlets to fit food waste recycling collections into their busy schedule, helping to cut costs and meet landfill diversion targets.

Key facts
18 million passengers
203 tonnes of food waste generated annually. Target of 60% recycling by 2015
Food waste collection scheme needed to work around frenetic schedules of catering retailers

Stansted Airport is the third busiest passenger airport in London, with around 18 million people passing through the terminal each year. For on-site caterers, the volume and pace of footfall can be challenging enough without separating out an extra stream for recycling. However, Stansted developed a straightforward scheme which has achieved a recycling rate of 57 per cent of total airport waste and shown that space and time constraints can all be overcome with a little strategic planning.

“When it came to implementing food waste collection, however, there were a number of drivers. First of all, it's the right thing to do, and the most effective thing to do with food waste. Increasing recycling is laid out in our waste strategy, and under the 2011 Waste Regulations we have to demonstrate that we have followed the waste hierarchy. Also, it's financially worthwhile; recycling is increasingly more beneficial financially.”

Kathy Morrissey, Environment and Utilities Manager, Stansted Airport