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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Atlanta Airport Makes a Bold Sustainable Statement

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Concourse T, serves as the Sustainable Food Court Initiative's first pilot project.  See the ZWZ Blog post, Atlanta Airport - First SFCI Pilot!, for details on the pilot announcement, including the national team members.

In order for SFCI pilot success, concessionaires must be required to use sustainable packaging and source-separate compostable and recyclable materials for processing versus landfill destination.  Changes in contracts with concessionaires and a team spirit with the airport waste hauler along with the contracted custodial companies are a necessity for success.

Michael Cheyne
With perfect timing, the Atlanta Airport is in the midst of the concessionaire RFP for the entire airport.  The City of Atlanta Office of Sustainability and Department of Aviation team, led by Michael Cheyne, Director of Asset Management & Sustainability for the Airport, made the bold, courageous and successful move to include the following provision in the RFP: 
Concessionaire shall use compostable serviceware along with consumer facing packaging and source separate all food service wastes for direct transport to off airport composting facilities.

 As the world's busiest airport, the new concessionaires will run the entire gamut from local concepts to the nation's largest chains and quick service restaurants.  This provision serves as a catalyst to evolve restaurant consumer packaging at every level.

BPI certifies compostable
foodservice packaging
With the support of the National Restaurant Association, the Foodservice Packaging Institute, Institute for Local Self Reliance, Elemental Impact and leading industry experts, the Atlanta Airport is the nation's leader in requiring zero waste initiatives implementation in foodservice operations at a major venue.  Working together with collaborative spirit, the SFCI Team will develop new systems that may serve as a solid business model for other airports and facilities to template.

A subcommittee is developing an educational packet for airport concessionaires on the WHAT, WHY & HOW of compostable packaging.  The packet will be available in hard copy with an on-line version on the Elemental Impact and Institute for Local Self-Reliance sites.

The bold Atlanta Airport statement is in perfect alignment with the City of Atlanta's sustainability commitment and support of the Zero Waste Zones program.  "The city’s support of Zero Waste Zones illustrates our commitment to moving Atlanta toward becoming a top 10 city for sustainability. " says Mayor Kasim Reed.

The City of Atlanta and the Atlanta Airport are embarked on a phenomenal journey working in partnership with the SFCI Team to evolve the operating standards of concessionaire operations at airports, malls, event venues and other facilities with food courts.  Stay tuned for tales from the journey!


  1. This is HUGE Holly! I can't wait to see the ripple effects within the participating national restaurant chains. Thank you for your dedication and commitment toward the Zero Waste cause!

  2. i like your post thank's for your information its very useful for me ^___^