Effort aims to prevent bottles from going to landfills.
Passengers are now able to join the effort in decreasing landfill waste and aid the recycling process of beverage containers with the Austin airport’s new ‘Pour It Out’ receptacle. The program launches April 21, 2016, just in time for Earth Day. It is part of the airport’s effort to prevent bottles from going to a landfill rather than being recycled.
‘Pour It Out’ receptacles provide a place for passengers to dump liquids from a bottle or container before placing it in a neighboring recycling bin. Empty bottles are ideal for the recycling process, as liquid is considered contamination and ruins recyclable materials. An alternative passengers may opt for is taking empty bottles through security and refilling at one of the hydration stations along the concourse.
“Through the implementation of liquid collection stations we can divert this material from the landfill, send the bottles to the recycling stream and thereby increase our overall diversion rate by 2 percent,” said B.J. Carpenter, Sustainability Program Coordinator at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. “Preventing liquids from entering the landfill also helps avoid the creation of harmful leachate, a key environmental problem facing all landfills.”
In a single day waste-sorting project conducted on November 18, 2016 at Austin’s airport, 334 lbs. of drink bottles containing liquids were captured. The presence of liquids within the bottles requires them to go to the landfill instead of being recycled. Carpenter estimates that in one year, 63 tons of waste can be diverted from the landfill and increase the recycling of bottles.
Additional benefits of the program include reducing the weight of waste containers, decreasing injuries of service employees from heavy-lifting, saving staff time sorting through waste, and increasing diversion rates. One receptacle will be installed at Checkpoint 1 as a pilot program and more receptacles may be installed in the future.
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