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How Much Do Airlines Recycle?  
User currently offlineSoxfan From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 865 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 6 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3831 times:

Hi Everyone,

I did a search and found a link to a thread last October about Delta starting in-flight recycling.

(http://www.airliners.net/discussions/general_aviation/read.main/3642279/?
threadid=3642279&searchid=3643934&s=recycling#ID3643934).

Everyday I am sure that airlines collect hundreds, if not thousands, of plastic cups, newspapers, and the like. How many airlines recycle, and to what extent? Do most airlines collect everything in one bag and then separate them once on the ground, or is it done in the air (which to me seems easier if clear guidelines are set up). I think plastic cups even have the recycling symbol on them, but that could depend on the airline.

Thanks for your thoughts!  Smile


Pilot: "Request push, which way should we face?" JFK Ground: "You better face the front, sir, or you'll scare the pax!"
36 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineJetSetter629 From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 440 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (6 years 6 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3831 times:

I have always wondered this too! I just hope the answer is a lot!!!

User currently offlineACFA From Canada, joined Feb 2007, 261 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 years 6 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3814 times:

You'd be surprised how much waste is generated in this industry. Despite all the lip service some airlines give to being environmentally conscious, the amount of waste is in my view overly excessive.

On international flights there is no recycling since due to regulations of individual countries, all waste is to be incinerated. Theres also a lot of food and supplies which go to waste on every flight. Disposable cups in packaging for example, is discarded even though its unused as the packaging has been opened. I believe this is because its the only way it can be guaranteed to be clean at this point; however once you get to see all the waste thats created behind the scenes, you start to realize that all this talk about individual action to save the environment is just an exercise in futility.


User currently onlineBrenintw From Taiwan, joined Jul 2006, 1654 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (6 years 6 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3809 times:

A friend tells me that his airline doesn't recycle when on board ... no idea of the Ground Services people recycle.

I've never noticed any recycling done when I've been on CX either.



I'm tired of the A vs. B sniping. Neither make planes that shed wings randomly!
User currently offlineKingAir200 From United States of America, joined May 2006, 1622 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (6 years 6 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3800 times:

NWA used to "advertise" that they recycled enough to fill something like six 747s per year. However, I am reasonably sure that NWA does not recycle any of the trash collected onboard anymore.


Hey Swifty
User currently offlinePilotboi From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 2366 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (6 years 6 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 3741 times:

Well since October 2007 DL has claimed that they are operating the "most extensive recycling program in the airline industry". Current, recycling is basically required at the hubs but is optional for the out stations. I think the biggest thing collected is the aluminum cans used for drinks, mostly because they never really get distributed to the passengers and stay in the carts until taken out to get recycled. Other things include unwanted newspapers, magazines, and plastic cups.

User currently offlineSimairlinenet From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 917 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (6 years 6 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 3740 times:



Quoting KingAir200 (Reply 4):
NWA used to "advertise" that they recycled enough to fill something like six 747s per year. However, I am reasonably sure that NWA does not recycle any of the trash collected onboard anymore.

Recycling begins in three weeks.


User currently offlineAtrude777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5692 posts, RR: 52
Reply 7, posted (6 years 6 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 3735 times:

American and SWA both recycle the soda cans, they collect them seperatly usually during the trash time.

Not sure what else the airlines recycle. I know newspapers are handled seperatly too.

Alex



Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
User currently offlineNwaesc From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 3391 posts, RR: 9
Reply 8, posted (6 years 6 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 3704 times:



Quoting KingAir200 (Reply 4):
However, I am reasonably sure that NWA does not recycle any of the trash collected onboard anymore.

You can change that to "100% sure."

Quoting Simairlinenet (Reply 6):
Recycling begins in three weeks.

What do you mean?


Look, NWA talks a good game with it's "Earthcares" program (or whatever it's called), but the fact is, day after day entire forests of paper come screaming over printers at every station. 90% of the time, it's worthless. What I mean by that is that every printer in a station may get a copy of something that's relevant to only one. It's maddeningly wasteful...and fiscally stupid...and this is just one example from the Ground Ops side of the house.

Also, AFAIK, there's also no recycling of ink cartridges, but I'd be happy to be corrected.



"Nothing ever happens here, " I said. "I just wait."
User currently offlineSoxfan From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 865 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (6 years 6 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 3683 times:



Quoting Nwaesc (Reply 8):
Look, NWA talks a good game with it's "Earthcares" program (or whatever it's called), but the fact is, day after day entire forests of paper come screaming over printers at every station. 90% of the time, it's worthless. What I mean by that is that every printer in a station may get a copy of something that's relevant to only one. It's maddeningly wasteful...and fiscally stupid...and this is just one example from the Ground Ops side of the house.

That's not good, especially since the ground ops are just that: on the ground, not in the air. You might think that they would be able to set up a program, at least separating printer paper that could be recycled? Even one small aspect (recycling paper) could go a very long way, as you say. I wonder what the rationale is for not separating and recycling...you could say money, but I can't imagine that such program would be all that expensive...



Pilot: "Request push, which way should we face?" JFK Ground: "You better face the front, sir, or you'll scare the pax!"
User currently offlineNWAESC From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 3391 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (6 years 6 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 3669 times:

Quoting Soxfan (Reply 9):
That's not good, especially since the ground ops are just that: on the ground, not in the air. You might think that they would be able to set up a program, at least separating printer paper that could be recycled?

You'd think that, but here we are...

An even better (and easier?) solution would be to stop the paper generation before it starts. Every pinter at NWA has a dedicated address (ie; MSPOONW; MSPFFNW, and so on). If people would/could just use specific addresses intead of "ALLMSPNW," it would be huge. This is not hard, by the way. For most line stations, the bagroom is "BR," operations is "OO," luggage service is "LL" and so on...

At both my current and previous stations, I've tried to start a separating program and had very little success.

[Edited 2008-04-01 19:39:19]

[Edited 2008-04-01 19:40:35]


"Nothing ever happens here, " I said. "I just wait."
User currently offlineEWRCabincrew From United States of America, joined May 2006, 5525 posts, RR: 56
Reply 11, posted (6 years 6 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 3664 times:

I can tell you CO recycles and has been for a few years now.


You can't cure stupid
User currently offlineBoeing6600 From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 45 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (6 years 6 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 3647 times:

AS just started recycling last month. They recycle almost everything cups, cans, snack packs, anything that can be recycled.

User currently offlineHeyheyyu From Vatican City, joined May 2006, 10 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (6 years 6 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 3632 times:

With airlines trying to save as much money as they can...you'd think they at least recycled those aluminum cans and get some money out of them. Don't they get 10 cents per can in the state of MI?

User currently offlineSoxfan From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 865 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (6 years 6 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 3614 times:



Quoting Heyheyyu (Reply 13):
With airlines trying to save as much money as they can...you'd think they at least recycled those aluminum cans and get some money out of them. Don't they get 10 cents per can in the state of MI?

If that is true, then it could be a HUGE benefit for airlines with hubs or big outstations in Michigan (such as Northwest, Mesaba, Pinnacle, Compass, Southwest, Spirit, Delta Connection, and others.) Especially as you said with airlines trying to save as much money as possible, those 10-cent cans could add up...

They'd probably need a lot of those bottle- and can-return machines, though.  Wink



Pilot: "Request push, which way should we face?" JFK Ground: "You better face the front, sir, or you'll scare the pax!"
User currently offlineKingAir200 From United States of America, joined May 2006, 1622 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (6 years 6 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 3599 times:

Quoting Nwaesc (Reply 8):
Look, NWA talks a good game with it's "Earthcares" program (or whatever it's called), but the fact is, day after day entire forests of paper come screaming over printers at every station. 90% of the time, it's worthless. What I mean by that is that every printer in a station may get a copy of something that's relevant to only one.

Agreed. We always get all kinds of printouts that we almost never need. If I want to see the DALR, I'll look at it on the computer and not waste the paper.

[Edited 2008-04-01 20:29:17]


Hey Swifty
User currently offlineAznMadSci From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 3675 posts, RR: 5
Reply 16, posted (6 years 6 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 3564 times:



Quoting EWRCabincrew (Reply 11):
I can tell you CO recycles and has been for a few years now.

During meal flights I see them stacking cups and trays on top of the rubbish cart. But what about short flights such as IAH-AUS. Cups are collected in the blue bags. Do grounds people separate out the cups from the newspapers and other stuff?

Also, I remember seeing a video on the JAL Japanese website where they show a video of the recycling that goes on in the galleys during and after a flight.



The journey of life is not based on the accomplishments, but the experience.
User currently offlineCanadianNorth From Canada, joined Aug 2002, 3390 posts, RR: 9
Reply 17, posted (6 years 6 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 3556 times:

At Air North I remember all the cans/bottles were recycled, almost all the cardboard boxes were recycled, most of the little plastic meal containers were recycled, and we tried to do newspapers and whatnot whenever practical. Even with our small 6 airplane airline, our recycle bins were regularly overflowing within a few days of being emptied. Truly amazing the massive amounts of waste that was saved just by doing cans/bottles, cardboard and the plastic meal containers. But also a reminder of just how much waste was generated in the first place...


CanadianNorth



What could possibly go wrong?
User currently offlineACFA From Canada, joined Feb 2007, 261 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (6 years 6 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 3502 times:

Another thing that gets me is at my airline they print out paper block packages for every flight crew member. These things are the size of a small phone book, and theres at least one copy for every crew! They're also produced every month. Completely unnecessary waste, considering that all of these are available online. But if they stopped producing them, the dinosaurs that don't use computers would start a riot!  Wow!

User currently offlineUA772IAD From Australia, joined Jul 2004, 1730 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (6 years 6 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 3483 times:



Quoting AznMadSci (Reply 16):

During meal flights I see them stacking cups and trays on top of the rubbish cart. But what about short flights such as IAH-AUS. Cups are collected in the blue bags. Do grounds people separate out the cups from the newspapers and other stuff?

That's typically to save space for storage. Trays are almost never thrown away on board, and cups are stacked because 50 stacked cups takes up much less space than 50 "loose" cups just thrown in the cart.

Since a lot of airlines contract out their catering services, the responsibility is off their shoulders. The airport and the kitchens themselves should be the ones encouraged to recycle. Just how much could be recycled from the bottles and cans thrown out before security... or paper coffee cups and newspapers at the gate.


User currently offlineNWAESC From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 3391 posts, RR: 9
Reply 20, posted (6 years 6 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 3420 times:



Quoting KingAir200 (Reply 15):
If I want to see the DALR, I'll look at it on the computer and not waste the paper.

Exactly!

That's a perfect example of what I was trying to illustrate earlier, by the way... In my station, the DALR comes to every printer.



"Nothing ever happens here, " I said. "I just wait."
User currently offlineGregarious119 From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 533 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (6 years 6 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 3333 times:



Quoting Soxfan (Reply 14):
that is true, then it could be a HUGE benefit for airlines with hubs or big outstations in Michigan (such as Northwest, Mesaba, Pinnacle, Compass, Southwest, Spirit, Delta Connection, and others.) Especially as you said with airlines trying to save as much money as possible, those 10-cent cans could add up...

They'd probably need a lot of those bottle- and can-return machines, though

Kramer and Newman tried that a few years ago. The cost/benefit ratio just doesn't work out!


User currently offlineN14AZ From Germany, joined Feb 2007, 2722 posts, RR: 25
Reply 22, posted (6 years 6 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 3318 times:

Some years ago we were trying to find a way how to recycle all the food coming back from the planes and to convert it into biogas either by transporting it to a municipal wastewater treatment plant with digesters (those egg-shaped tanks that you can see from far away) or even by a special anaerobic biogas reactors on site of an airport. You know that many people don't eat the food they get on board so the organic mass is a huge source for energy, at least at big international airports like FRA, LHR, AMS etc. But the problem was 1.) the required disinfection and 2.) the low level of separation.

User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12113 posts, RR: 49
Reply 23, posted (6 years 6 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3237 times:
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Quoting Gregarious119 (Reply 21):
Kramer and Newman tried that a few years ago. The cost/benefit ratio just doesn't work out!

It did on the weekend of Mothers Day when there was an extra truck going to the sorting station located in Saginaw MI, though that plan did not go through when they had to divert and chase the mechanic that stole Jerry's car with the Kennedy clubs for Petermen in the car.



You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineSoxfan From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 865 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (6 years 6 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3231 times:



Quoting NWAESC (Reply 20):
Quoting KingAir200 (Reply 15):
If I want to see the DALR, I'll look at it on the computer and not waste the paper.

Exactly!

That's a perfect example of what I was trying to illustrate earlier, by the way... In my station, the DALR comes to every printer.

You guys might be on to something...I know NWAESC said he's run into some resistance, but if it did succeed in working....is it worth it to try spreading the word, or, in NWAESC's case, spreading the word again? (I'm curious what kind of resistance you might run into, or if a program might be embraced this time.)

 Smile



Pilot: "Request push, which way should we face?" JFK Ground: "You better face the front, sir, or you'll scare the pax!"
25 Asiaflyer : If this is true, I take my hat off for these two airlines. There seems to be a long way to go for the industry in general. Another way for airlines t
26 Gregarious119 : PUTTY!
27 MSYPI7185 : When I was at US working in CLT. We used to recycle the cardboard and the aluminum cans and that was about it. Working in the smaller outstations such
28 NWAESC : Not so much resistance as apathy.... At the local level, in my previous city I would set up a box right next to the trash in operations for paper. Mo
29 Simairlinenet : I sent you a message inviting you to share some of your ideas with my coworkers that organize Northwest's environmental programs--I'm sorry that I di
30 LTBEWR : The recycling of in-flight items may be very difficult, not so cost effective and presents other. As others noted, international flight wastes must be
31 NWAESC : I did respond... Didn't you get it? If for some reason the PM function wasn't working, please by all means try to resend me the info; I'd really appr
32 KingAir200 : I always think about doing that every time I see the ops agent ball up the unneeded pieces of paper and toss them into the trash bin. At least we hav
33 WingnutMN : I know that NW is in the process of recycling tons of alluminum, copper wiring, glass, etc. What is the going rate for a DC9 as scrap? WingnutMN You c
34 NG1Fan : When Lauda Air was still around, they served on porcelain crockery and real glasses. Their all-metal cutlery was stored in this cotton serviette/place
35 Soxfan : Perhaps for those of you working in the airline sector, you could spread the word to your coworkers to see if any interest arises in starting/expandin
36 Simairlinenet : Must have been a delay or something--thank you!
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