With impeccable timing, Liza Milagro joined the City of Atlanta Department of Aviation as recycling coordinator weeks prior to the team tour. First on Liza's list was " to know the airport's trash, up close and personal." For three weeks, Liza chronicled the traveler disposal patterns on the seven airport terminals and documented her findings on a color-coded airport site plan.
Discussions are underway to create a viable short-run food waste collection program for the airport. In spring 2012, Greenco Environmental closed their composting facility and the closest food waste permitted facility is in Toccoa, GA, over 100 miles from the airport. Long-run plans are for an on-site recycling center, including an organics recycling system.
On another front, Pei Wei, a HMSHost food court restaurant in the International Terminal, participated in a kitchen hood filter system pilot designed to document the water usage and toxicity reductions with filter use. In addition to the environmental impact, the pilot quantifies the economic benefits.
|Grease build-up in kitchen duct|
system prior to filter installation
The pilot is complete and an independent engineer is documenting the results in a soon-to-be-published white paper. For details on the Ellis Fibre filter system, see the ZWA Blog post, Zero WATER Waste: more than a goal, a necessity. The pilot is Elemental Impact's first step in the Water Usage | Toxicity focus.
Working closely with Liza, the SFCI - Atlanta Airport Team will zero in on the International Terminal food court to create best recycling practices in a scenario where transient consumers are responsible for material source-separation. The International Terminal has several unique attributes:
- twelve gates versus thirty plus gates on other terminals.
- a loading dock with secured street access; other terminal loading areas are on the tarmac next to airplanes.
- food court custodial service provided by SFCI Team member HMSHost; other food courts custodial services are third party contracts
- ample back-of-the-house hallway space for recycling bins; in most cases, such space is non-existent in other terminals.
|SFCI - ATL Airport Team|
While the SFCI Team focuses on the International Terminal, Liza will work on a sustainability and zero waste plan for the entire airport. As the world's busiest airport for thirteen consecutive years, the Atlanta Airport employs 50,000+ employees - the size of a medium-sized city!
With her boundless enthusiasm grounded in practical experience, Liza is perfect for the daunting task of creating an achievable Atlanta Airport zero waste plan. Working within the WE Consciousness and supported by visionary Michael Cheyne - Atlanta Airport director of asset management - Liza intends to create templates that other airports may modify for their unique circumstances.
Stay tuned for future SFCI - Atlanta Airport action updates!