Gatwick Airport set to open its waste-to-energy facility

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The new ‘category 1’ biowaste-to-energy facility at Gatwick Airport will begin operations in November

Gatwick Airport is to partner with DHL to recycle its ‘category 1’ aeroplane waste on site; the first airport in the world to implement such a system.

According to official figures, the disposal of ‘category 1’ airport waste (food waste and food packaging) costs the aviation industry £500million per year. Category 1 waste covers International Catering Waste (ICW) that has passed outside the EU zone into non-EU territory.

Gatwick Airport is building an on-site waste-to-energy facility

Gatwick Airport is building an on-site waste-to-energy facility

The disposal of this type of aviation waste must be done so in accordance with strict regulations to prevent the outbreak of diseases and the contamination of other products.

The new £3.8million waste-to-energy facility is set to open in November. It will also feature a section for the sorting of all airport and airline waste, as the airport’s management looks to bring its waste operations in-house.

The new facility will increase the airport’s recycling rate from the current 49% up to 85% by 2020. A recycling rate of 85% will put Gatwick Airport above any other UK airport for its recycling efforts.

At present, more than 10,500 tonnes of category 1 waste is produced by Gatwick Airport every year. The new plant will enable more of this waste to be recycled and then converted into energy, which will then be used to heat the North Terminal and to power the waste facility itself.

DHL Supply Chain, the firm which handles internal delivery and logistics at Gatwick Airport, is to be a key partner in the new waste endeavour.

Paul Richardson, the Managing Director of Specialist Services at DHL Supply Chain, commented: “We will work closely with Gatwick Airport to integrate new technologies such as our Biomass Waste to Energy System into the supply chain, enhancing energy production and ensuring a sustainable platform…”

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