The Port Authority partnered with JetBlue and MarketPlace Development to launch successful composting initiatives at Terminal 5 at JFK International Airport and the Food & Shops at LaGuardia's Terminal B. These composting initiatives have transformed 58 tons of food waste into nutrient rich soil with a program that provides food scraps to the McEnroe Organic Farm in Millerton, NY. Composting is good for the environment and reduces the amount of solid waste that goes into landfills by redirecting it to become a useful product. It also decreases the production of greenhouse gases such as methane.
Developed and managed by MarketPlace Development, the Food & Shops program is also making a difference through recycling efforts. Recycled waste from 60 restaurants and shops has added up to significant and meaningful savings in landfills, and oil, water and tree conservation. Last year, more than 264 tons of waste was recycled.
Repurposed cardboard, glass, aluminum, plastic and paper helped to save more than 1,400 cubic feet of landfill space and conserved over 1.2 million gallons of water, 82,000 gallons of oil and 3,000 trees. In addition, used fryer oil was collected and converted into 4,600 gallons of biodiesel fuel.
"The Port Authority is improving recycling practices at all of its aviation facilities," said Port Authority Aviation Director Thomas Bosco. "In addition to the deployment of more customer-friendly waste and recycling receptacles, the agency is conducting waste audits and streamlining waste removal services for more efficient recyclables collection. We will continue to work with our partners to implement green practices at our airports."
At JetBlue, preserving the environment is a top priority. The customer-centric airline is always looking for ways to reduce its impact. The airline uses technology, efficiency measures and carbon offsets to shrink its own footprint and recently pioneered a new onboard recycling program. JetBlue works with global NGOs to help solve critical environmental challenges such as ocean health and climate change.
"Today's choices are tomorrow's consequences. By composting, we are giving food a second life," said Sophia Mendelsohn, JetBlue's head of sustainability. "It not only reduces the amount of solid waste that goes into landfills, food waste is redirected to become a useful product. Nutritious food needs water, energy, soil, and effort in order to grow. By composting food scraps instead of throwing them away, we are reusing the good parts and avoiding the bad -- the greenhouse gas emissions like methane that come from putting food into landfills."
"We're pleased to partner with The Port Authority of NY & NJ and JetBlue on these sustainability efforts," says Lillian Tan, vice president and general manager of MarketPlace Development. "By joining together with like-minded aviation leaders, we can meet our goal of bringing awareness of composting and green initiatives to our passengers."
To spread the word about green initiatives, a special "Choose Green" event will be held at LaGuardia's Terminal B on April 17th from 12-4pm, in the food court between Gates B & C. Joining the festivities will be the NYC Compost Project, hosted by the Queens Botanical Garden, who will provide information on composting, along with a hands-on composting worm exhibit. The Queens Council Boy Scouts will also be on hand to provide information about their newest Sustainability Merit Badge. Kid-friendly activities such as coloring and face painting will also be available.
During the event, customers who pledge to "Choose Green" will be entered into a drawing to win two JetBlue tickets and will receive a sunflower growing kit to commemorate their pledge. Twitter followers of each company can also get into the action by tweeting their pledge using #choosegreen. Two winners will be chosen on April 30th. Contest rules can be found at www.shoplaguardia.com.
The Port Authority of NY & NJ has led the way in sustainable practices since 2003, when it converted its diesel vehicle fleet to run on 20% biodiesel fuel. The Port Authority's award-winning green fleet is now comprised of more than 75% alternative-fueled vehicles. In addition to its sustainable design guidelines for all capital projects, the Port Authority has reduced carbon emissions from existing buildings by 36,000 metric tons through energy efficiency projects, and reduced aircraft emissions by 48,000 tons per year at JFK through the use of an innovative ground management program. Finally, in 2013, the Port Authority contributed to the first series of transatlantic flights operated on advanced aviation biofuel. KLM, in partnership with the Schiphol Group, SkyNRG, Allied Aviation, and the Port Authority operated 25 roundtrip flights from Amsterdam to JFK on 20 to 25 percent biofuel. For information on the Port Authority's efforts in Aviation Sustainability, please visit http://www.panynj.gov/about/airport-sustainability.html.