National Academies Press: OpenBook

Airport Waste Management and Recycling Practices (2018)

Chapter: Chapter 2 - Methodology

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Methodology." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Airport Waste Management and Recycling Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25254.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Methodology." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Airport Waste Management and Recycling Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25254.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Methodology." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Airport Waste Management and Recycling Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25254.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Methodology." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Airport Waste Management and Recycling Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25254.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Methodology." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Airport Waste Management and Recycling Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25254.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Methodology." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Airport Waste Management and Recycling Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25254.
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Page 11

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6 Information used in this synthesis came from a variety of resources. A review of available reference literature provided a foundation of understanding. Results from a survey of airports illustrated the concepts discussed in the literature review, and case example interviews explained 21 airport waste management programs in more detail. Literature Review Airport Cooperative Research Program Studies ACRP has published several studies related to waste management at airports. These documents include one study on the larger subject of airport sustainability, and five more specific subtopics: • ACRP Synthesis of Airport Practice 10: Airport Sustainability Practices (Berry et al., 2008) • ACRP Report 100: Recycling Best Practices—A Guidebook for Advancing Recycling from Aircraft Cabins (Cascadia Consulting Group et al., 2014) • ACRP Synthesis of Airport Practice 42: Integrating Environmental Sustainability into Airport Contracts (Haseman, 2013) • ACRP Synthesis of Airport Practice 66: Lessons Learned from Airport Sustainability Plans (Martin-Nagle and Klauber, 2015) • ACRP Synthesis of Airport Practice 77: Airport Sustainability Practices (Malick, 2016) • ACRP Synthesis of Airport Practice 81: Food and Beverage and Retail Operators: The Cost of Doing Business (Buckner et al., 2017) Federal Aviation Administration Resources The FAA issues regulations for civil aviation to promote safety, and encourages and develops civil aeronautics and new aviation technology. In 2010, the FAA developed a vision of sustainability as a core planning objective and introduced the Sustainable Master Plan Pilot Program. Shortly after, Title 49 was revised under FMRA. FMRA set requirements for a recycling plan as an element of a master plan, serving for some airports across the country as their first exposure to the topic. Following FMRA, the FAA issued a new Airport Improvement Program (AIP) Handbook to explain that recycling plans are eligible for AIP grants. The FAA followed the AIP Handbook with a synthesis document and a guidance memo with more detailed instructions for these regulatory requirements. FAA’s Sustainable Master Plan Pilot Program Initiated in 2010, the Sustainable Master Plan Pilot Program had two main goals (Black, 2010). First, the program was to assist airports in attaining their planning and operation objectives C H A P T E R 2 Methodology

Methodology 7 while reducing environmental impacts, achieving environmental benefits, and improving relationships with local communities. Second, the program was to develop guidance in the form of a program manual. The manual is based on lessons learned through planning efforts from participating airports. Under the program, airports could develop a sustainable master plan (a traditional master plan that added sustainability elements) or a sustainable management plan (a stand-alone document). This program paved the way for growth in airport sustainability initiatives. FAA Synthesis Document, “Recycling, Reuse, and Waste Reduction Plans at Airports” In April of 2013, the FAA published a synthesis document that addressed MSW and non-MSW waste streams (FAA, 2013). The synthesis was a resource for airport sponsors considering a program to recycle, reuse, and reduce waste. The synthesis lists additional resources and contains case studies from airports around the country with best practices in recycling, reuse, and reduction and “green” procurement programs. FAA Order 5100.38D, Airport Improvement Program In September of 2014, in response to Section 132(b) of FMRA, the FAA cancelled existing documents and created Order 5100.38D, referred to as the Airport Improvement Program Handbook, to guide policies and procedures. This document reflects current legislation and policy and streamlines information regarding the use of AIP funds for sustainability projects. The handbook states that recycling plans are eligible for funds under the AIP. FAA’s “Guidance on Airport Recycling, Reuse, and Waste Reduction” In September of 2014, after updating the handbook, the FAA published this guidance memo- randum (SanMartin and Rinsler, 2014). The memo provides direction to incorporate recycling, reuse, and waste reduction plans into airport master plans, master plan updates, and sustain- ability planning documents. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Resources The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created to protect human health and the environment, which fall under the umbrella of sustainability. Since its establishment in 1970, the EPA has published several waste reduction, management, and recycling documents that apply to airports. The EPA’s “Developing and Implementing an Airport Recycling Program” The EPA published this guide in April 2009 to help interested airport managers manage waste in ways that are friendlier to the environment. This guide relied on the experiences of example airports around the country and the experiences of the EPA. Worksheets at the end of the docu- ment help airports estimate costs for waste removal services. Sustainable Materials Management: Non-Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Hierarchy The non-hazardous materials and waste management hierarchy was developed by the EPA after it recognized that no single waste management approach is suitable in all circumstances. This hierarchy prioritizes management approaches from most to least environmentally favored, as Figure 2 shows. This system emphasizes reducing, reusing, and recycling as crucial components to sustainable materials management.

8 Airport Waste Management and Recycling Practices Sustainable Management of Food: Food Recovery Hierarchy The food recovery hierarchy (Figure 3) ranks the actions an organization can take to prevent and divert wasted food, with each tier focusing on different management approaches. The upper levels are the most preferred as they create the greatest benefits for the environment, society, and the economy. Source Reduction & Reuse Recycling / Composting Energy Recovery M ost Preferred Least Preferred Treatment & Disposal Figure 2. Waste management hierarchy (U.S. EPA, 2009). Source Reduction Feed Hungry People Feed Animals Industrial Uses Composting Landfill/ Incineration M ost Preferred Least Preferred Figure 3. Food recovery hierarchy (U.S. EPA, 2009).

Methodology 9 The Natural Resources Defense Council’s “Trash Landings: How Airlines and Airports Can Clean Up Their Recycling Programs” The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environ- mental organization established in 1970 that exists to protect the world’s natural resources, environment, and public health. In December 2006, the NRDC published a report on airport recycling programs (Atkin, 2006). The report presented the results of an airport survey on recycling practices and recommended strategies to guide airport and airline personnel interested in creating recycling programs. During research for the report, the NRDC conducted case studies at 30 airports around the country. The findings identified opportunities and barriers and highlighted the effective strate- gies of several facilities. The survey questions used for the NRDC’s report served as the basis for the survey developed for this ACRP synthesis project. Wheels Up: A Look at How U.S. Airports Manage Waste and Recycling Waste 360 published this article on its website to call attention to the large number of airports across the country with waste and recycling programs in place (Szczepanski, 2016). The author contacted a variety of professionals as sources, including airports, waste haulers, and the ACI-NA. Strategies mentioned in the article include on-site waste and recycling, diverting food waste from landfill, managing international and domestic deplaned waste, and relaying waste and recycling information to both travelers and employees. Survey and Data Collection For this synthesis, two surveys were designed, tested, distributed, and collected to gather information about airport waste management practices. The first survey quickly collected contact information for airport representatives willing to complete the second, longer data collection survey. Thirty-three airport representatives responded to the first survey by email or direct contact with the project team and agreed to participate in the study effort. The second survey collected detailed qualitative and quantitative data about airports’ waste management programs related to the following areas: • Drivers and challenges • Policies and goals • Strategies to reduce, reuse, and donate • Practices for recycling, composting, energy recovery, and disposal • Airline, food and beverage operators, retail stores, and other tenant activities • Plans to enhance programs • Practices for communication, education, and training • Roles and responsibilities • Economics and purchasing practices • Monitoring, measurement, tracking, and reporting • Studies and tools The data collection survey incorporated as many multiple-choice questions as possible to simplify survey completion and response comparison. Appendix 1 presents the actual survey used to collect the information found in this chapter. All answers provided by survey respondents were treated as confidential and aggregated with other responses.

10 Airport Waste Management and Recycling Practices Survey Response Through broad outreach, 33 organizations agreed to participate in the survey; ultimately, 35 organizations completed and submitted survey responses for a total of 36 airport facilities. One organization represented two airports and provided a response for each facility. Airport Size and Geographic Location One non-hub airport and 17 large-hub, 10 medium-hub, and six small-hub airports [as defined by the FAA National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS; FAA, 2016)] provided information about their waste management programs, as shown in Figure 4. There are 30 large-hub airports and 31 medium-hub airports in the FAA NPIAS; 56% of the large-hub and 32% of the medium-hub airports participated in the survey; these airports are in 22 different states. The remaining two survey responses were from an airport located in Canada, which has passenger enplanement levels comparable to an airport classified as large hub in the United States, and one general aviation airport that will have commercial service in the future. The organizational structure of airports varies from facility to facility. Therefore, different departments and staff may be responsible for airport waste management from one to another. As Table 1 shows, the respondents to the survey represent different departments or divisions and a spectrum of professional roles. Figure 4. Location and hub classification of surveyed airports.

Methodology 11 Case Example Selection and Interviews Airports interested in providing additional information about their waste management programs through case example interviews indicated so in their survey responses. Twenty-one case example interviews were conducted by phone. Case example interview questions were based on each airport’s survey responses and were designed to collect additional details about the programs described therein. In general, case example participants described their roles, identified unique or innovative elements of their programs, and gave more detail about specific program elements. Represented Departments/Divisions Airport administration Aviation Capital programs Development Engineering Environment/environmental Facilities Maintenance Operations Planning Public works Risk management Safety Sustainability Waste management Airport director Airport environmental manager Deputy commissioner of environment Engineering manager Environmental affairs manager Environmental and sustainability coordinator Environmental compliance manager Environmental operations manager Environmental program manager Environmental project manager Environmental services specialist Environmental specialist Manager Manager, aviation environmental programs Manager, energy and environment Principal planner Recycling coordinator Recycling supervisor Senior land quality manager Solid waste manager Sustainability coordinator Sustainability program administrator Sustainability project manager Vice president of sustainability and natural resources Responding Professionals Table 1. Surveyed airport departments and professionals.

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TRB's Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Synthesis 92: Airport Waste Management and Recycling Practices focuses on airport waste management and recycling practices that reduce impacts and costs to airports and their surrounding communities. The information in this study was acquired through a literature review, survey results from 35 organizations representing 36 airports from a range of geographic locations and airport classifications, and interviews of a subset of 21 airport waste management experts. The results of the literature review and survey are presented in this short report. Supporting Materials, Case Examples, and Toolkits for ACRP Synthesis 92 includes survey results, case examples representing in-depth interviews on specific airport waste management and recycling practices, and toolkits of existing effective practices to assist airports in implementing their waste management and recycling programs.

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