MSP's waste recycling program featured in national spotlight
Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport’s (MSP) food waste recycling program was recently recognized by Airport Experience News, a leading industry information resource and event organizer, for the airport’s work to divert waste from landfills and incinerators. In an article titled ‘Making Zero Waste a Reality,’ MSP was featured for its sustainability efforts along with San Francisco International Airport, Portland International Airport, San Diego International Airport, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, and Long Beach Airport.
Launched in 2009, MSP’s food waste recycling program is powered by a partnership between airport officials and MSP’s food and beverage concessionaires.
“Not only did we have to set up the infrastructure to collect the waste, but we also had to establish a training and education program for airport tenants and employees,” said Emmy Waldhart, sustainability manager for the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC), which owns and operates MSP.
MSP and its concessionaires also partner with Minneapolis-based non-profit Loaves and Fishes to recover food for donation. Ready-to-eat items nearing expiration are picked up from MSP and donated to meal programs serving people in need, or distributed at urban locations in the Twin Cities through Loaves and Fishes’ outreach program. In 2022, MSP recovered 27 tons of food for donation, equal to 44,550 meals.
The partnership has yielded strong returns for MAC and the environment.
“The diversion of food waste is more than cost savings. Managing waste as compost reduces landfill impacts, lowers greenhouse gas emissions, and creates an ongoing supply of nutrient-rich soil for reuse in the community,” Waldhart said.