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Birmingham Airport first in world to implement innovative waste recycling solution

Birmingham Airport (BHX) has appointed Bidvest Noonan as its new waste contractor, who working in partnership with The Green Block, has installed a Mobile Segregation Unit (MSU) at the airport.

BHX is the first airport worldwide to implement an MSU solution in partnership with The Green Block and has committed to reach recycling rates of 65 per cent.

The unit, which enables the separating, washing, compacting, baling, weighing, and electronic tagging of waste, through highly efficient sortation and segregation processes, will allow BHX to achieve higher recycling rates. The MSU also reduces contamination of recyclable materials, and since being installed, has prevented 264 tonnes of waste from becoming non-recyclable general waste.

In addition, the MSU will provide data insights into the breakdown of waste for individual on-site partners and specific areas, to allow targeted improvements across the airport.

Tom Denton, Head of Sustainability at Birmingham Airport said: “Birmingham Airport is committed to improving recycling rates, focussing primarily on reducing and reusing waste, then recycling wherever possible. Our Sustainability Strategy sets out our waste, supply chain and circular economy commitments, and we are always determined to find innovative ways to reduce our environmental impact.

“The MSU installation is facilitating much more efficient segregation of our recyclable materials, with real-time data breakdown allowing us to drive that all-important behavioural change needed to see continual improvements in waste reduction and disposal best practice across the airport.”

Deane Arnold, Terminal Operations Manager at Birmingham Airport said: “Prior to the implementation of our new waste solution, our recycling figures off-site were averaging between 50-55 per cent. Recognising the opportunity to enhance this rate, we embarked on a collaborative effort involving our Operations, Procurement, and Sustainability departments. Through engagement with the market, we aimed to achieve the highest recycling rate among UK airports.

“I am delighted to share that just four months into the implementation of this initiative, we have witnessed a significant surge in our recycling rates. In February, our recycling rate reached 68 per cent, and in March, it soared to an impressive 83.2 per cent. These results are a testament to the effectiveness of The Green Block, Bidvest Noonan Partnership, and the dedication of our team to sustainability. We are committed to further improving our recycling practices and continuing to lead the way within the aviation industry.”

Keith Middleton, Transport Managing Director at Bidvest Noonan added: “We are proud to support Birmingham Airport, an industry leader dedicated to sustainable practices and achieving the highest recycling rate in the aviation industry. Our partnership has proven that through collaboration and a focus on innovative solutions, we can achieve significant advancements in sustainability. We believe our partnership will inspire others and lead to greater environmental progress across our industries.”

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