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Delta, DTW Expand Recycling Efforts

Delta Airlines and Detroit Metro Airport announced they will be expanding their recycling initiatives, according to a press release. The airport will now be providing divided recycling bins in its McNamara Terminal, which serves as Delta’s second-largest hub.

The new system will accept plastic bottles, metal cans and paper from travelers. The program expands on a similar one that had been implemented at the airport’s North Terminal.

Nineteen new collections sites will be set up throughout the terminal, according to the release, though additional sites may be added later depending on the rate of customer participation.

Almost 7,080 tons of waste were removed from McNamara Terminal in 2009, according to the report, thought it is not known what portion of that is recycleable. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental advocacy group, 75 percent of the waste generated every day at airports is recyclable, but only 20 percent is recycled. Oakland International Airport in California established a similar program in 2003, and now diverts 37 percent of its waste from landfills.

The program is the latest environmental initiative by the Wayne County Airport Authority (WCAA), which overseas the operations at Detroit Metro. Previously, the WCAA has also led efforts to recycle used cooking grease from airport concessions into biofuel for airport service vehicles and recycle aircraft deicing fluid.

Delta topped a recent ranking of US airlines recycling initiatives. Several airports are considering other sustainability initiatives.

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