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Ohio's Port Columbus International Airport Program to Divert 200 Tons of Waste per Year

Columbus, OH - The Columbus Airport Authority and SWACO (Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio) announced a new waste prevention program that will greatly reduce the amount of solid waste from Port Columbus International Airport going into the Franklin County Sanitary Landfill. The program is expected to divert nearly 200 tons of waste annually, making Port Columbus the only metropolitan airport in Ohio to implement a terminal-wide recycling program.

"With more than 13 million people passing through our doors annually, Port Columbus is pleased to be a part of a waste reduction effort that can have such a positive impact on the community," said Elaine Roberts, A.A.E., Executive Director of the Columbus Airport Authority. "This project will demonstrate a successful partnership effort with SWACO and aligns nicely with the airport's environmental stewardship practices."

Initially, the project has been introduced in Port Columbus's terminal building and includes the voluntary participation of restaurants, retailers and airlines. The program will eventually be expanded to include airport facilities and tenants outside the terminal building.

"This program at Port Columbus fits perfectly into our strategy to introduce recycling at high-traffic areas in Franklin County," said Michael Long, SWACO executive director. "Our ultimate goal is to reduce the amount of waste that goes into the landfill by increasing the percentage of material that is diverted from the waste stream to 25 percent. We believe this program will be a major step toward reaching that goal."

Prior to developing the program, SWACO and the airport worked with Camp Dresser & McKee (CDM), a global consulting, engineering, construction, and operations firm, to characterize waste stream content, volume and handling at Port Columbus. The study was funded in part by a grant awarded to SWACO by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Recycling and Litter Prevention. CDM recommended potential alternatives for waste reduction and recyclables collection in a program implementation plan. The plan initially targets cardboard, newspaper, magazines, mixed office paper and empty beverage containers for recycling. Port Columbus generates approximately one ton of these waste materials daily.

Port Columbus is using a combination of pictures, universal icons and multi-lingual signs to encourage recycling by a broad spectrum of travelers. The airport placed customized recycling containers throughout its public facilities to allow for separation of targeted materials. Non-recyclable solid waste is discarded in a separate compartment of the containers. All employees, tenants, and airlines have been encouraged to participate in the waste prevention program.

Administrative offices and the offices of participating tenants and airlines will use traditional desk-side and office station recycling containers.

SWACO was created in 1989 in response to Ohio House Bill 592 to develop a statewide organized and planned approach to solid waste management and to avoid a solid waste crisis created by a shortage of landfill capacity.


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