Green Initiatives a Focus at America’s Friendliest Airport
Recycling is a key component of operations at Phoenix Sky Harbor International
Airport, and America’s Friendliest Airport® has begun ramping up efforts to do
even more to help the environment.
Over the past several years, Phoenix Sky Harbor has provided recycling bins
throughout the terminals for travelers. Sky Harbor employees are also encouraged
to recycle at their desks and throughout other Airport locations. You will see
in the near future additional recycling bins at many locations throughout all
Last year, Sky Harbor even added a new facility to process recyclable materials and waste to make operations run much more smoothly.
Currently, Sky Harbor is working hard to make it even easier to recycle. Often, individuals are unsure of what can and cannot be recycled. Now, it is very simple, says Recycling Coordinator Jerry Haws. Just about anything is recyclable with the exception of food waste. The following items may be placed in any recycling container throughout the Airport terminals, offices and loading dock locations:
- Cardboard, newspaper, magazines, shredded paper, and all paper items
- Mixed recyclable materials also include glass bottles, metal cans, aluminum cans, all plastic bottles, shrink wrap and all plastic items
Other items that are recycled at Sky Harbor, but are amassed at separate collection points include:
- Used motor oil and antifreeze
- Used tires
- Landscape (green waste) such as trees, shrubs, grass and other organic materials
- Metals, including construction metals
Ever wonder what the most recycled material is at Sky Harbor? Haws says it is a commingled material – a mix of many recyclable items, followed by cardboard which is collected at every point in the Airport.
Another fun fact is exactly how much Sky Harbor recycles.
“In 2011, we anticipate recycling over 1,700 tons of material,” Haws said. “That is enough to fill a six story building full of recycled material!”
In fact, according to Haws, results from the month of August show that the Airport has captured approximately seven tons of material per day. This amount calculated for one year equals approximately 2,400 tons, and this is roughly 20% of all waste material collected that did not go to a landfill. Haws also points out that in 2011 Sky Harbor has recycled over 400 tons of paper. This equates to a savings of: 6,800 trees; 2,800,000 gallons of water; 156,000 gallons of oil; a reduction of 24,000 pounds of air pollution; and a savings of 1,680,000 kilowatt hours of energy or in other words enough electricity for 200 homes for one year.
Additionally, Sky Harbor utilizes other methods to “be green” such as:
- Using reclaimed asphalt millings (from road and airfield projects) to stabilize soil and control dust
- Mulching green trimmings and reusing as mulch
- And, where feasible, re-using excavated soils, asphalt and concrete that have been removed during construction projects
These are just a few of the innovative ways that Sky Harbor works to reduce its environmental impact. For more information on more of Sky Harbor’s environmental efforts, visit the Green Initiatives section.
Published: October 25, 2011