The Charlotte Douglas International Airport has been able to reduce their landfill waste by 70% by using 1.9 million worms to eat through organic waste.
Food waste is a huge problem for airports, it is estimated that each visitor to an airport produces half a pound of waste.
The airport doesn’t have customers separate their trash when throwing it away so employees must first pick through the trash, collecting recyclable or recoverable material, the rest is sent to the worms to eat up and the left over fertilizer is then used to keep the facilities plants healthy.
From the article:
In the four months since this operation got under way, trash going from the Charlotte airport to the landfill is down an impressive 70 percent. Recyclables are crushed, baled and sold for cash. There are shirts sorted and laundered and donated, and plastic cups collected. (The shirts come from people who toss clothing when they suddenly discover their suitcases are too heavy.)
The organic stuff — waste from airport restaurants, food scraps off planes, and the half-eaten Cinnabon that a traveler has tossed out — mixes in a big tank for a few days to start the composting process. Then it’s time for the stars of this show to take over. …