Paul Austin

Paul Austin is the director of Conservation Minnesota, a statewide non-profit. In that role, he gets to hear and share Minnesotan’s stories about our lakes, lands and way of life. Paul’s past lives include election as a small town mayor, serving at the US Agency for International Development, and managing a small marketing firm. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife, two small children and one very large dog.

Early Flight Recycling Lesson

Posted by: Paul Austin Updated: December 19, 2012 - 9:28 AM

I was a little bleary eyed this morning as I arrived at my gate at 5:45 am.  But even through my morning pre-caffiene fog, one of the MSP Airport recycling efforts managed to catch my attention.  

It turns out that the airport is recycling organic food waste from restaurants and food service.  Waste from airport kitchens is combined with the unwanted scraps from the plates of thousands of customers. This organic material is then loaded into trucks and delivered to a composting site in Rosemount, MN where it is combined with leaves and yard waste to create a compost blend.  

When all is said and done, more than ten tons of food waste is composted by the airport each month.  That’s 10 tons of waste put to good use that don't end up wasting space in a landfill or waste to energy facility.  

I put this in the all good news category, until I started asking myself one question.  If ten tons of food is recycled each month, how many tons are actually eaten by people like me?

More about MSP's sustainability work. 


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