New £3.8m Food Waste Facility will Power Gatwick Airport’s North Terminal

It is fair to say that we have all been waiting for a flight, bus, or train, and have left food to board it at some point in our lives.  You have probably felt guilty as you threw away a half eaten sandwich or a coffee knowing that it was going to landfill. 

Gatwick Airport, who generates 2,200 tonnes of food waste a year, has come up with an ingenious way to not only recycle its food waste but to turn it into a viable energy source.

Airports are governed by strict controls on disposing of their food waste.  Their waste is classed as Category 1 which means the waste has to be disinfected before going to landfill.  From November, Gatwick Airport will unveil its own waste processing facility and energy plant that will be used not just to disinfect and process food and organic waste, but to recycle it as energy for its North Terminal.

This ingenious system will see Gatwick have a recycling rate of 85% by 2020, a 49% increase on any other UK airport today.

 Gatwick’s North Terminal will be powered entirely by its organic and food waste.  The £3.8 million plant will also provide the terminal's heating as well as electricity.  The costs will be recouped through savings on utility and waste collection bills.

Hopefully, this will open the door for more businesses to look at their waste and start using it productively and efficiently.  Airports often get bad press for their environmental pollution, but you have to take your hat off to Gatwick, who are showing the country and the world what you can do with your waste.