Managing waste

We understand that waste should be treated as a resource. Waste to landfill is an unsustainable use of resources and land, and contributes to our carbon footprint. Waste management at Auckland Airport is also particularly important in terms of protecting New Zealand’s biosecurity.

We focus our efforts on two key areas – reducing waste in our terminals, and working with airlines to reduce waste from inbound aircraft.

We set a goal of reducing waste to landfill by 20 per cent per passenger from 2012 levels. We achieved more than double this target, with an end result of 39% reduction in waste to landfill in 2020.

Managing waste in our terminals

In late 2019 we commenced the next step in our work with our terminal retail tenants to improve their sustainability efforts. With an initial focus on waste, Auckland Airport and our terminal tenants have committed to reducing reliance on single-use items, improving recycling rates and removing waste by leveraging our supply chain relationships.

We are also investigating full back-of-house sculleries so food and beverage outlets can reuse crockery and cutlery instead of supplying single-use packaging and utensils.

Managing aircraft cabin waste

In partnership with airlines, the Ministry for Primary Industries and ground handling agents, we have established a transitional waste facility to manage aircraft cabin waste. In FY19 the transitional waste facility allowed 39% of the waste generated on international flights to be diverted from landfill.


Quarantine waste is the waste generated ‘airside’ (beyond immigration and customs, including on aircraft). It poses biosecurity risks and is steam-sterilised by Interwaste, a specialist provider.

Waste reduction case study

View a case study about Auckland Airport's new transitional waste facility