Recyclable materials like water bottles, soda cans and cardboard food containers discarded by passengers at Miami International Airport will soon benefit the environment and the airport, thanks to a comprehensive recycling contract approved by the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners on October 1.
The countywide agreement with Ecological Paper Recycling, Inc. expands MIA’s recycling program to include glass, plastic and metal containers, along with paper and cardboard materials currently collected only in MIA’s office areas. In addition to reducing the amount of recyclable waste generated by MIA, the new program will generate revenue to the Miami-Dade Aviation Department through rebates. The County’s previous contract for paper and cardboard recycling produced $117,265 in net revenue countywide during fiscal year 2012. MIA’s 39.5 million annual passengers and 36,000-plus employees generate more than 6,000 tons of waste annually. The Aviation Department estimates that six percent of all waste at MIA is currently recycled but expects an increase to 20 percent by 2015 with the new program. The Department plans to first deploy 100 recycling containers in MIA’s North Terminal in March 2014 and then 500 more in May wherever garbage receptacles are located throughout the airport.
“I greatly appreciate the County Commission for taking this step to drastically reduce MIA’s environmental footprint,” said Miami-Dade Aviation Director Emilio T. González. “The new recycling program will deliver a major customer service enhancement to our environmentally conscious passengers, add a significant component to our green efforts, and generate non-aeronautical revenue that helps decrease our costs to the airlines. Everyone, and most importantly our environment, wins.”
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