Left: Simon Duggan, senior logistics manager, Gatwick Airport
London Gatwick Airport has been shortlisted for a Sustainability Leaders Award in recognition of its new £3.8m (US$4.7m) waste processing plant.
The shortlist was compiled by environmental news site edie.net in recognition of the plant’s ability to dispose of Category 1 waste on-site and convert it into energy to heat the airport’s North Terminal.
Category 1 forms the majority of waste from non-EU flights and is defined as food waste or anything mixed with it, including packaging, cups and meal trays. Its disposal is governed by strict rules that have until now required specialist processing off-site to protect against the potential spread of disease and infectious material. It’s an issue that costs the global aviation sector around £500m (US$610m) a year.
The plant also includes a waste sorting center that will boost the airport’s in-house recycling rate to approximately 85% by 2020 – higher than any UK airport currently and up from 49% today.
Simon Duggan, senior logistics manager, Gatwick Airport, said, “Being short listed is recognition of the work we have put in to get to this stage, but we will not stop here.
“We are already looking at making this waste plant bigger to cope with the growth in our passenger numbers in coming years. We are also exploring how our construction waste can be reused and recycled as much as possible to help us reduce the amount of carbon we use.”