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Smarter waste solutions

With more than 20,000 people visiting Christchurch Airport's terminal every day, waste is something our business will always have to deal with. We’re committed to working with all our stakeholders to reduce the amount of waste generated at the airport and enable as much recycling as possible.

Our approach to waste management is based on the principles of the waste hierarchy:  

  • Rethink 
  • Refuse (reject)  
  • Replace  
  • Reduce  
  • Reuse  
  • Recycle (including composting and recovery)  
  • Rubbish (landfill)  

Diverting waste from landfill bag-by-bag

Following New Zealand’s largest ever waste audit, Christchurch Airport is working with Enviro NZ and Sustainably to divert as much waste as possible from landfill. Using a custom-designed sorting table, four waste sorters go through every red bin or general waste bag from the terminal, pulling out anything that can be re-used or recycled. Organics and liquid waste becomes soil for the city gardens and clothing, shoes and books are collected for charity. This initiative has been awarded ‘Green Airports Recognition 2023’ by the Airports Council International, Asia-Pacific. Our overall goal is to get the diversion rate to 80% - it’s already over 50% which, we’re told, is very high given most businesses don’t even weigh their waste.

Recycling plastic containers into asphalt  

PlastiPhalt® is an exciting initiative we’re proud to be trialing. Designed to be used like ashphalt, PlastiPhalt® contains plastic chips made from previously unrecyclable oil containers. In partnership with Fulton Hogan we’ve undertaken the first commercial trial, with 250 tonnes of PlastiPhalt® laid at the airport’s fire station. It’s the ultimate test with fire engines weighing up to 60 tonnes driving over itThe PlastiPhalt® surface is expected to last around 15 years and can then be recycled all over again. In 2018 we were a finalist in the ‘Going Circular’ category of the 2018 NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards for this innovative waste solution.