Ontario Airport begins Beverage Container Recycling Program

Ontario, CA - Ontario International Airport (ONT), in partnership with Keep California Beautiful (KCB), a non-profit organization that promotes litter reduction and recycling activities throughout the state, kicked off its airport-wide beverage container recycling program on July 18.

"ONT's comprehensive beverage container recycling program will help the airport reduce beverage container waste, encourage the recycling and reuse of beverage container materials, and help maintain disposal savings of more than $100,000 each year," said airport manager Jens Rivera. "Keep California Beautiful is donating $12,000 worth of beverage container collection bins and educational materials to assist with ONT's recycling efforts. The project was made possible through a cooperative agreement with the California Department of Conservation."

Drinks contained in glass, plastic, aluminum, and bi-metal beverage containers are consumed daily in the airport's public waiting areas, restaurants, food courts, concessions, employee lunch rooms and offices, vending machine areas, and Ground Transportation Center. Beverage recycling bins will be placed in these areas to collect used beverage containers. Their contents will be collected daily, separated, and delivered to a local recycling company once a week.

"When ONT's beverage container recycling program begins, the airport's recycling efforts will be nearly complete," said Rivera. "In November 1999 we implemented an airport-wide mixed-paper recycling program with the help of the City of Ontario. The city donated a recycling container trailer estimated to cost $10,000."

ONT currently recycles more than 50 tons of mixed paper and 170 tons of cardboard per year. In 2000, ONT recycled more than 300 tons of greenery through "grasscycling," 245 tons of pallets, and 94 tons of metal.

ONT's recycling efforts, which received a "Good Housekeeping Award" from the Los Angeles City Council, complies with Assembly Bill 939, which requires cities in California to divert 50 percent of municipal solid waste from landfills. ONT reached 38 percent last year and is committed to reaching 50 percent in 2001. Other programs to be implemented this year include a wood recycling program and expansion of existing programs with ONT tenants.

ONT is owned and operated by Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), a Los Angeles city department, which also owns Los Angeles International, Van Nuys Regional and Palmdale Airports. ONT is located approximately 35 miles east of Los Angeles in Southern California's Inland Empire region and handles 6.7 million passengers and more than 500,000 tons of cargo per year.

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