Mar 24, 2017: DHL Supply Chain and Gatwick airport has recently opened a new waste management plant, becoming the first airport in the world to turn Category 1 waste into energy onsite.
DHL's new £3.8million waste plant not only disposes of Category 1 waste safely onsite, but converts it and other organic waste into energy to heat Gatwick's waste management site and power the site's water recovery system. The plant is set to save £1,000 in energy and waste management costs for every day it operates.
Category 1 forms the majority of waste from non-EU flights and is defined as food waste or anything mixed with it, such as packaging, cups and meal trays from international transport vehicles. Through the plant, waste is turned into a dry powdered organic material, used as fuel to heat the site and dry the waste for the next day.
Gatwick currently treats 2,200 tonnes of Category 1 waste each year, which is around 20 percent of the total generated at the airport. The new energy plant will process around 10 tonnes per day.
With the objective of boosting the airport's recycling rate from 49 percent to 85 percent by 2020. The plant includes a waste sorting centre to maximise recycling onsite. Concentrating all activities in one location enables the team to transport waste four times more efficiently than before, reducing local traffic and carbon emissions.
The plant has also been designed with the future in mind and has the capacity to produce additional energy that could one day be used to power other areas of the airport.
Stewart Wingate, Gatwick CEO, said, "Our plan to develop in the most environmentally responsible way possible are driven by a set of rigorous targets."
DHL Supply Chain already manages inbound deliveries at Gatwick Airport through its logistics and consolidation facility on behalf of the airport's 150 partners and retailers. The development of the new waste management plant is also in sync with Deutsche Post DHL Group's recently announced commitment to reduce all logistics-related emissions to net zero by the year 2050.