Waste Management

British Airways staff are shown conveyor belts sorting waste.

Being such a large and complex organisation, at British Airways we have considered how we deal with waste from a number of different areas. We have a target to reduce the amount of waste that has to go to landfill by recycling as much waste as we possibly can and processing non-recyclable waste by other preferential methods. At our main bases of Heathrow and Gatwick, we recycle almost 50 per cent of our waste and we aim to increase this to 60 per cent by 2015. We are also working closely with suppliers to reduce the amount of waste at source, particularly by looking at the volume of packaging and order quantities.

Ground Operation

A plastic cup is placed in one of three recycling bins.In 2010 we recycled 45 per cent of our waste at our main bases of Heathrow and Gatwick. This was achieved through the provision of additional recycling facilities with the creation of recycling areas and the removal of desk bins from our office locations including our headquarters at Waterside.

Non-recyclable waste from Heathrow and Gatwick is processed through a waste-to-energy plant. The amount of waste we send to landfill has reduced to just 3 per cent of the total waste bringing us closer to our aim of zero waste to landfill for our main activities.

We also reuse as many materials as we possibly can including office furniture and computer and communications equipment.


Tin cans ready to be recycled sit atop an aircraft waste holder.We recycle as much on-board waste as is allowed within the constraints of environmental and legislative rules. Working with our catering partners we are constantly attempting to reduce the amount of catering waste produced from flights as well as looking to select ingredients from sustainable sources.

Our engineering department has an impressive 85 per cent recycling rate. This is achieved primarily through the refurbishment of parts from aircraft and the recycling of materials.