National Recycling Stars award ‘gold’ to Stansted Airport

Kathy Morrissey, environment utilities manager and driving force behind improved waste recycling per

Kathy Morrissey, environment utilities manager and driving force behind improved waste recycling performance at Stansted Airport, and John Thain, environment standards manager responsible for implementing the waste management strategy and promoting best practice. - Credit: Archant

Stansted Airport has been awarded the top ‘Gold’ accreditation by National Recycling Stars, one of the UK’s leading waste industry accreditation schemes.

As the biggest single site employer in the region, providing employment for over 10,200 people and welcoming nearly 18 million passengers through the door each year, it is unsurprising that the airport generates significant volumes of waste, over 5,000 tonnes annually.

Stringent targets were set in 2010 to recycle 60 per cent of total airport waste and send zero per cent of waste direct to landfill by 2015.

Progress has been made with the 60 per cent mark already passed for total airport waste recycled and by the end of 2013 just seven per cent of waste was sent direct to landfill putting the airport on-track to achieve zero per cent by 2015.

Kathy Morrissey, Stansted Airport’s environment and utilities manager and the driving force behind the improved waste recycling performance in recent years, said: “Achieving the highest award under the National Recycling Stars accreditation scheme is not just great for Stansted Airport as a business but for the wider airport community as it recognises the partnership approach taken by our cleaning contractor, waste disposal company and 190 companies and thousands of employees on-site who all play their part.

“Our ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ strategy is the key driver of our waste management strategy and we enjoyed great success introducing relatively small initiatives that collectively impact our overall performance such as a food waste composting scheme and manually separating plastics from general waste collections.

“Diverting waste from landfill is something that all businesses and individuals should be mindful of in our day to day activities. We’re making great progress and the team here at Stansted remain focussed on our target to send 0% of waste direct to landfill by 2015 and to improve even further on the total waste recycled at the airport.”

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Olu Faturoti, scheme manager for National Recycling Stars, said: “With high footfall and multiple stakeholders, Stansted Airport faced numerous challenges in achieving its 2013 recycling and waste management goals.

“Its investment in technologies along with a proactive approach to educating both staff and customers means Stansted Airport now diverts 93 per cent of its waste from landfill – a huge achievement for a business working in such a diverse landscape.”