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Waste prevention and recycling improvements

Energy centre near Heathrow by a lake

Large hub airports generate considerable volumes of waste, predominantly from aircraft cabin cleaning, cargo handling and flight catering. Construction waste can also be significant during building and refurbishment.

Our approach to waste is based on a model of what we, as Heathrow’s operator, control, guide and influence.

The report Towards a sustainable Heathrow - a focus on Waste describes how we manage waste issues.

In 2011 we managed over 26,000 tonnes of operational waste coming from retail and catering outlets, offices and terminals of which 43% was recycled. Our target for 2020 is to recycle 70% and achieve zero untreated waste sent to landfill.

We recycled 96% of the total construction waste in T2, exceeding our yearly target by nearly 10%.

Waste management approach

We control: Waste generated through our own operations and managed through Heathrow's operational waste contract

By: Landscaping: green waste, composted and re-used on-site. Office recycling: paper collection. Management of hazardous waste from engineering activities and security operations for passengers.

We guide: Waste generated by third parties but managed by Heathrow's waste contract

By: Providing facilities to segregate and collect retail and catering waste for recycling; guiding recycling behaviour of contractors, through contracts conditions that meet recycling obligations.

We influence: Waste generated and managed by third parties

By: Influencing the development of guidelines for managing aircraft cabin waste to promote recycling. Encouraging construction suppliers to design out waste using off site fabrication to increase recycling.

For more information on our progress in this area see our Action Plan Summary (449KB PDF)

Sustainability awards

Sustainability BITC pink planters