Case study | Logistics

Edinburgh Airport.

Edinburgh Airport is Scotland’s busiest airport, serving 12 million passengers each year. The airport generates around 2,000 tonnes of waste a year, from general maintenance to catering and retail operations.

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The issue.

Aiming to be a pioneering ‘Green Business’, Edinburgh Airport has extensive CSR commitments in place. These sit alongside financial profitability in importance, and many of their long-term goals are based around minimising their environmental footprint.

One of their ambitious objectives is to increase on-site recycling levels and process remaining waste to reach 80% diversion from landfill by 2020.

By looking at the waste situation in its entirety at the start of the partnership in 2011, we identified the most effective financial, operational, and environmental waste solutions for Edinburgh Airport.

The solution.

Following an audit of waste generation, we identified there was scope for significant improvement; part of the problem was the poor accountability and on-site management of waste areas.

We modelled potential cost benefits, taking into account the lower collection fees for segregated waste, and reduced container requirements for mixed waste.

The results showed that savings could be generated to cover two Recycling Officers to manage and process all waste across the estate. This solution ensured continued improvement in segregation rates and dedicated resource.

We provide regular updates and inform key stakeholders about the waste management service and the impact on improving practices within the airport. The Recycling Officers have become ‘agents of best practice’, who coach individual staff on waste management practices and trouble-shoot issues within the waste procedures.

Edinburgh Airport has a dedicated Account Manager; part of their role is to provide regular reports on the types and volumes of waste produced across the site.
inside airport

The results.

litter bin 62% Annual on-site segregation levels
recycle 98% Waste streams implemented to single source segregation
Collection success rate 100% Diversion from landfill in 2015

We have transformed Edinburgh Airport’s recycling performance, supported its sustainability policy, and helped it achieve its long-term objectives, along with ongoing compliance with the 'Zero Waste Scotland'.

Additionally, we developed a unique and highly effective waste yard recycling model which has been replicated at another UK airport.

Where next?