Airport waste is analysed in minute detail


Genève Aéroport has set itself the goal of recycling 50% of its waste by 2020 to reduce its impact on the environment. To achieve this, last June the airport launched a campaign to define the composition of its waste. For the European week for waste reduction, held on the 18th to the 24th November, Genève Aéroport analysed the results of the report and is already envisaging the modifications to be made to its sorting system.

Genève Aéroport manages all the waste generated by the 200 businesses operating in the airport. In 2018, 3’700 tonnes of waste were treated by the seven on-site waste collection centres and in collection points, compared with 3’900 tonnes in 2017. Thanks to the optimisation of the sorting infrastructures, recycling rates stabilised at 44% in 2018. The goal is to reach 50% by 2020.

To improve these figures and join in on the Canton-wide goal to reduce waste, last June Genève Aéroport launched a campaign to define what was actually in its bins. In concrete terms, nearly 800 kg of waste were removed from different points of the airport and analysed in minute detail.

Pause for thought

The results of Genève Aéroport’s « radiography » of its waste were revealed this month. « More than 50% of incinerable waste could potentially be recycled, meaning there is room for us to improve the system », said Sophie Meisser, Head of Environment. The largest categories were organic waste (26%), paper/card (14%) and then glass and PET drink bottles (3 and 2% respectively).

The detailed results of this study will be used as the cornerstone for the new plan to manage airport waste. « Aluminium coffee capsules sometimes represent close to 10% of incinerable waste in certain airport buildings. Equipped with these findings, we will quickly and easily be able to implement a specific recycling chain in the offices concerned », specified Sophie Meisser. Another important result was that single-use plates and utensils represent 18% of the total weight of the waste analysed. « This number is high enough for us to take serious action in collaboration with the restaurateurs in the platform », she added.