Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport officials, along with partners Hugo Neu Environmental, announced Tuesday the launching of “Green Airport, an initiative that promotes public awareness of the importance of recycling in Puerto Rico.
Green Airport is a project that aims to recycle 40 percent of the waste generated by more than 7 million passengers, employees and visitors of the airport who use the facilities every year, said Aerostar CEO Agustín Arellano during a news conference Tuesday.
“We’re proud that we can offer passengers the opportunity to recycle at the airport. This initiative will allow us to continue developing our commitment to the environment, positioning on the same level as other international airports,” said Arellano, explaining that among the materials to be recycled are office paper, aluminum cans, plastic bottles and cardboard.
The latter represents almost 25 percent of the total waste stream that is generated on a daily basis at the airport.
“We have placed more than 200 recycling bins and 12 modern recycling stations throughout the airport, which in addition to being novel were built according to security specifications established by the Department of Homeland Security and Transportation Security Administration (TSA),” said Arellano, flanked by Wendy Neu, CEO of Hugo Neu Corp., parent company of Hugo Neu Environmental.
“We will locate the 12 recycling stations, for passenger use, in convenience shops. We will also place recycling bins in administrative areas and have a cardboard and aluminum can compactor and industrial sized bins for mixed recycling material,” he said.
As part of the partnership, the airport will be in charge of collecting the recycling material and Hugo Neu Environmental will have the responsibility of a weekly pick-up and transport to its plant for processing.
“This important partnership is an example of the type of initiatives that we want to establish to increase Puerto Rico’s recycling rate, with the objective of promoting a ‘green’ and sustainable economy that generates many environmental benefits,” said Neu.
Prior to establishing the “Green Airport” program, Aerostar had taken other environmentally friendly steps such as replacing all the airport’s lighting with LED, which has led to a drop in energy consumption, establishing a program to protect wild life, creating green spaces, disposing of used oil along clean guidelines, and recycled tires, among other actions.