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Airport Authority Named ‘Recycler of the Year’ in San Diego

Thursday, April 23, 2015

SAN DIEGO – April 23, 2015 – The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, which owns and operates San Diego International Airport, was named a Recycler of the Year by the City of San Diego for the ninth consecutive time at a ceremony today at the San Diego Zoo. 

The award recognizes key advancements in waste reduction and recycling. The Airport Authority has received the award 11 times in the past 13 years.

In 2014, San Diego International Airport diverted nearly 100,000 tons of waste from landfills, including 98,000 tons in construction waste and 1,243 tons of other recyclable materials recovered from the waste stream. Not counting the construction waste, the Airport Authority recycled 18 percent more waste in 2014 compared to 2013, and 47 percent more than in 2012.

Overall, 2014 recycling efforts resulted in $46,566 savings in disposal costs.

“The Airport Authority is committed to operating in an environmentally sustainable manner,” said Thella F. Bowens, the Airport Authority’s President and CEO.  “Our waste diversion and recycling program is an integral part of our sustainability strategy and we greatly appreciate the City’s recognition of our efforts.”

The Airport Authority has made significant advancements in many areas of its waste diversion and recycling program, most notably:

·        Food Composting: All 41 onsite restaurants and all three main prep kitchens participated in the airport-wide composting program in 2014, which resulted in the collection of a record 226 tons of food waste.

·        AC Condensate Collection: In 2014, the Airport Authority began recovering condensate – liquid created by condensation – from air conditioning units installed in passenger boarding bridges.  More than 5,225 gallons of condensate was recovered and reused for a variety of purposes in airport maintenance.

·        The Green Build: In 2014, the Green Build expansion of Terminal 2 became the first commercial airport terminal in the U.S. to be awarded LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, partly for its drought-resistant landscaping that resulted in immense water savings, less green waste produced, and almost 70 percent less maintenance. Further, the water bottle refilling stations located in all post-security drinking fountains deter single-use bottles that contribute to the airport’s waste stream.

The Airport Authority has used a single stream-recycling program since 2003, meaning all types of recyclable materials are collected in the same container. This makes it much easier for everyone visiting and working at the airport to participate in the program.

For more information on SDCRAA’s sustainability initiatives, visit http://san.org/Airport-Projects/Environmental-Affairs.

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