It got me thinking about airports in general and the amount of things that are likely not recycled but rather tossed to the land fill, particularly from the airplanes themselves.
While I don't have specific info about the trash that comes off the planes specifically, I know a guy in my neighborhood who works for Delta and started a recycling program at the airport which actually makes money for Delta. That of course is in addition to the impact is has on the environment.
A study done two years ago by the The Natural Resources Defense Council uncovered extremely low recycling rates among the nation’s top airports. According to the report, by implementing recycling programs for airlines and airports, the airline industry could save enough energy to power thousands of American homes and reduce carbon emissions by an amount equivalent to taking 80,000 cars off the road each year.
Beyond these impressive environmental savings, implementing recycling programs will save airports and airlines money too. (as my friend's initiative has proven for Delta)
While Salt Lake International Airport has recycling programs, if your airport doesn't have a program in existence, YOU can start a recycling program at your local airport. Not quite sure where to start? The EPA has created a "How To" document with insights and direction to help you get started.
Of course, you could also arrive early for your next flight out of Salt Lake and walk the airport to observe what's going on with Salt Lake and recycling. It might surprise you how extensive the program really is.