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Saturday, December 3, 2022
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DFW Airport Rolls Out Composting Program


Compost Bin for Turn Compost | Image by Eco Ready Family

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A new program at the DFW airport seeks to reduce the amount of waste it sends to North Texas landfills by beginning a composting program.

Over 11 million tons (30%) of Texas’ landfill waste comes from North Texas. If the current rate is maintained, the area could run out of landfill space by 2054, according to the North Central Texas Council of Governments.

Turn Compost, “a Dallas-based startup on a mission to reduce and recycle food waste across DFW,” is working to change that trajectory, starting at DFW airport.

The airport alone produced roughly 32,000 tons of solid waste each year, but through a new composting program, DFW has been able to reduce that by 100 tons since 2021.

One of the restaurants in Terminal A served as Turn Compost’s pilot test for the system.

Restaurants provide a good place to begin composting efforts as up to 90% of most restaurants’ waste could be composted or recycled and thus diverted from landfills, according to the Green Restaurant Association.

Turn Compost first visited Lorena Garcia’s eatery, Tapas Y Cocina, last year, and taught the employees to separate trash from compostable food scraps. The startup then periodically collected the compost and turned it into fertilizer.

Since the beginning of the program, a total of 25 restaurants have joined in the effort, allowing the airport to begin chipping away at the amount of waste it sends to landfills. The airport hopes to have all terminals involved in the initiative by the end of this year.

DFW airport’s executive vice president of revenue management and customer experience, Ken Buchanan, explained that it has “a zero-waste goal by 2030 … and there’s no way we can achieve that goal without this element of it.”

The pro-environmentalist endeavor comes as the airport has begun recycling the grease from its restaurants into fuel. It also recently received federal taxpayer dollars to build a zero-carbon power plant, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

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