Gatwick Airport has formally unveiled a new biomass plant, claiming to be the first airport in the world to recover energy from food and packaging waste on-site.
DHL Supply Chain’s £3.8m facility heats the waste management site and powers its water recovery system. It is hoped eventually to heat other areas of the airport.
Each year, 2,200 tonnes of food waste, packaging, cups and meal trays from flights is generated, around 20% of Gatwick’s total. The partnership expects to save £1,000 daily in waste management costs because of the new plant.
The authorities are also looking to boost the current recycling rate of 49% to around 85% by 2020, higher than any UK airport.
Stewart Wingate, Gatwick chef executive said: “On our journey to become one of the greenest airports in the world, our new world-beating waste plant turns a difficult waste problem into a sustainable energy source. We are confident it sets the benchmark for others to follow in waste management.”
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Martin Willmor, senior vice-president, specialist services, DHL Supply Chain, added: “Gatwick is leading the way in converting waste on-site into an energy source, and we are already investigating a number of further initiatives to support sustainable energy production and the future expansion of the airport.”
DHL Supply Chain already manages inbound deliveries at Gatwick through its logistics and consolidation facility on behalf of the airport’s 150 partners and retailers.
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