In 2009, a KESAB waste audit of Adelaide Airport’s (AAL) Terminal 1 identified that many recyclables were going straight to landfill. In their Sustainability Plan AAL committed to increasing the volume of recycled and reused materials by 25 per cent per person by 2014, in alignment with the South Australian Government’s 2009 waste targets. Accordingly, after installation of Dyson hand-dryers to avoid generation of paper towels, AAL also developed a public space recycling (PSR) scheme that is expected to achieve this target.

An inter-departmental PSR working team was developed to workshop a way to implement this initiative whilst meeting the unique challenges of the site, such as the interior architecture and décor of the award winning terminal, contractual and security obligations.

Specifically designed to suit the look and feel of T1, the new bin systems were custom designed and built in partnership with Source Separation Systems, to accommodate recycling for paper/card and drink containers, while retaining an opening for general waste. The existing sentinel bins were retrofitted to enable separation, and brand new recycling stations were installed through the retail area and gate lounges, and outside the terminal.

To help airport visitors choose the right bin, icons of items commonly discarded are featured below each of the different openings. As AAL’s Environment Officer Renae Eden confirmed,“The different shaped holes for waste and recycling has proved an effective method of making people pause and think before they use the bins, helping to avoid recyclables go to landfill and avoiding contamination of the recyclables.”

Accompanying the launch of the new recycling system was an interactive display, tabletop displays and educational activity sheets for kids, all developed by Ecocreative. The displays illustrated what happens to each of the streams once they leave the Terminal, to help inform visitors of the total life-cycle of the products & materials that entered each of the bins. Previously all public waste went to landfill. Now, more than 50 tonnes of waste is expected to be diverted from landfill every year as a result of the new bin system.

Photos courtesy of ABS Creative


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