An expanded Heathrow airport would generate up to 47,000 tonnes of waste annually by 2040, according to the Airport Commission report.
The report, which recommended a third Heathrow runway as the best option to increase UK capacity, said the figure would depend on the effectiveness of measures to reduce the amount of waste that passengers generate.
Gatwick would produce 14,500 tonnes a year, the Commission said, subject to factors including a significant increase in long-haul traffic.
It said it would expect the promoter of the recommended airport to ensure that best practice waste management techniques were adopted, including investment in handling facilities.
A third Heathrow runway was chosen by the Commission ahead of extending the existing northern runway or a second at Gatwick.
As previously reported by MRW, Heathrow’s recommended scheme would also require the removal and replacement of the Lakeside energy-from-waste (EfW) plant, a joint venture between Grundon Waste Management and Viridor.
The plant, built at Colnbrook near Slough in 2010, processes around 410,000 tonnes of residual waste a year.
The report recommends beginning the process of planning for an alternative facility as soon as possible.
Heathrow airport completed an innovative analysis of its waste stream using an on-site mobile MRF in 2013. It recycles 34% of its waste but has a target of 70% recycling by 2020.
>This article was revised on 6 July to amend the EfW plant’s title