Gatwick’s world-first waste plant shortlisted for prestigious Sustainability Leaders Award
- Energy generated from Gatwick’s waste to heat the North Terminal with recycling rate hitting 85% – the best of any UK airport
- Award forms part of highly regarded RSA accreditation scheme
- Gatwick one of the first global airports to sign new Airports Sustainability Declaration
Gatwick’s world-first waste plant has been shortlisted for a prestigious Sustainability Leaders Award the airport announced today – as Gatwick becomes one of first signatories to the international Airports Sustainability Declaration.
The awards are run by Edie – leading providers of environmental news and commentary – and Gatwick has been shortlisted after becoming the first airport in the World able to dispose of Category 1 waste on site and convert it into energy – an issue that costs the global aviation sector around £500 million a year.
Category 1 forms the majority of waste from non-EU flights and is defined as food waste or anything mixed with it – such as packaging, cups, meal trays – from international transport vehicles.
Its disposal is governed by strict rules that – until now – require specialist processing offsite to protect against the potential spread of disease and infectious material.
From November however Gatwick’s new £3.8million processing plant – delivered in partnership with DHL – will not only dispose of this waste safely on site, it will also convert it – and all other organic waste – into energy to power the new plant and heat the North Terminal.
New waste plant
Gatwick currently treats 2,200 tonnes of Category 1 waste each year – around 20% of the total generated at the airport (10,500 tonnes) – and the new energy plant will process around 10 tonnes a day.
The plant also includes a waste sorting centre as Gatwick brings responsibility for sorting in-house to maximise the amount recycled – a move that will boost the airport’s recycling rate to around 85% by 2020 – higher than any UK airport currently and up from 49% today.
The Airports Sustainability Declaration was signed by Gatwick yesterday at the Airports Going Green Conference at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. The declaration has been designed to strengthen worldwide collaboration between airports to improve the sharing of environmental innovation, knowledge and best practice.
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.”
The edie Sustainability Leaders Awards are included in the highly regarded RSA accreditation scheme – one of only a handful of environmental schemes to be chosen for this honour. This means that award winners have the opportunity to gain further accolades on the international stage, as they are automatically given access to the European Business Awards for the Environment.
DHL Supply Chain already manages inbound deliveries at Gatwick Airport through its logistics and consolidation facility on behalf of the airport’s 150 partners and retailers.
- The airline industry currently generates approximately 4.5 million tonnes of cabin waste per annum at a cost of around $500 million, which is set to double in the next 15 years. (Page 2 – IATA)
- Definition by DEFRA of Category 1 Waste
- The waste to energy system blends low grade un-recoverable wet food waste and organic food packaging such as napkins etc and dehydrates it to create a solid biomass fuel. Part of the fuel produced is consumed by the system but the remaining fuel can be used in a variety of heating applications, including space heating and hot water.
About Gatwick Airport
Gatwick Airport is the UK’s second largest airport and the most efficient single-runway airport in the world. It serves more than 220 destinations in 80 countries for 42 million passengers a year on short and long-haul point-to-point services. It is also a major economic driver for the South East region, generating around 21,000 on-airport jobs and a further 10,000 jobs through related activities. The airport is south of Central London with excellent public transport links, including the Gatwick Express, and is part of the Oyster contactless payment network. Gatwick Airport is owned by a group of international investment funds, of which Global Infrastructure Partners is the largest shareholder.