According to the waste hierarchy, the best environmental waste management choice is: to avoid, to reduce, to reuse, to recycle, and at last, to dispose. The ultimate goal is eliminating waste going to landfills. This hierarchy implies that the first consideration should be given to minimize the generation of waste at the airport. Additionally, it includes opportunities for cost savings through improved waste management, the feasibility of waste recycling at the airport, and the potential for generation of revenue, from airport waste.
Municipal, Domestic and Compostable Wastes: Most common type of waste group inside an airport is the ones that originate due to the most basic operations. The source of these wastes are food and beverage services, landscaping activities, cleaning of the common areas, construction and demolition and ground operations. Different treatment options can be applied for each type of waste such as composting or disposal.
Packaging Wastes and Reusable Materials: Products must be purchased in order to keep all kinds of services running. Whilst products and materials are taken into use, their packages need to be discarded for recycle or reuse. Inside this group, inventories such as wood, metal, electronics or plastics can be included which lost their functions in time. These wastes can be managed by recycling or up-cycling these materials.
Hazardous and Industrial Wastes: These group of wastes consist on chemicals, oils, batteries, contaminated products, solvents and all others that can be toxic for the environment. Maintenance and repair, aircraft washing, and de-icing operations are the main sources of these wastes, and each of them require special treatment.