Managing waste

We consider 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.

In 2021 we set a new target of a 20% reduction in waste to landfill from 2019 levels by 2030.

The 2021 financial year has been extraordinary for the aviation industry. Although domestic passenger numbers returned to 77% of pre-COVID-19 levels in the final quarter of FY21, international passenger numbers remain significantly lower than usual. This is reflected in Auckland Airport’s waste quantities.

Collaborating with our partners

Auckland Airport works with terminal retail tenants to improve their sustainability efforts. The 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.

Auckland Airport has established a transitional waste facility in partnership with airlines, the Ministry for Primary Industries and ground handling agents to manage quarantine waste.

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.

The transitional waste facility allows uncontaminated airside waste to be separated from quarantine waste and diverted from landfill.