Atlanta Airport Launches Compostable Foodservice Ware Packet

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (HJAIA) sends more than 19,000 tons of waste to Georgia landfills each year.  Food scraps are the single largest component of HJAIA waste, making up about one-third of this tonnage.  In fact, food waste is the most prevalent material disposed in the landfills in the State of Georgia. Non-recyclable paper and plastic foodservice ware represent significant volumes of HJAIA’s trash as well.  HJAIA has a goal to divert 50% of its waste from landfill disposal by 2015.  Composting food waste is essential to reach this goal, and switching to compostable food packaging will enable successful food residuals recovery.

As a result, the new HJAIA concessionaire contracts going into effect beginning in 2012 include, among others, the following provision:

“Concessionaire shall use compostable serviceware along with consumer facing packaging and source separate all food service wastes for direct transport to off-airport composting facilities.”

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance partnered with Elemental Impact’s Sustainable Food Court Initiative to develop outreach materials to help concessionaires meet the contract provision.  The HJAIA Compostable Foodservice Ware Packet consists of an introduction, fact sheet and frequently asked question section.  This revised fact sheet explains WHY the contract provision is important, WHAT constitutes compostable foodservice ware, and HOW to meet the provision.  A resources section lists industry non-profits and trade associations along with contact information and website links. The FAQs document answers queries commonly expressed by operators.

Download the revised document, including introduction, fact sheet and frequently asked questions, at the link below.

HJAIA Compostable Foodservice Ware Packet – v. 07-30-12 (pdf)

More information at Elemental Impact’s Zero Waste Action blog, “Compostable Packaging Info Packet”

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Brenda Platt

Brenda Platt directs ILSR's Composting for Community project.