The Emirates Group has initiated recycling programmes targeting a diverse range of waste streams across its activities. In the last financial year (2010-11), over 4,917 tonnes of waste was recycled by the Emirates Group in Dubai.
Emirates Group office buildings in Dubai
Emirates Group Headquarters (EGHQ) represents one of the largest work locations for the Group and also one of the best locations for collecting recyclable office waste. Recycling of paper, cardboard, plastic bottles, aluminium drink cans, steel cans and printer cartridges is carried out at EGHQ and at a large number of other Group office buildings, such as Emirates Aviation College, Emirates Group Technology Centre, dnata Travel Centre, Emirates Holidays and Group Security. Over 336,400kg of recyclable materials was collected from various Emirates Group office buildings in 2010-11 alone.
Emirates Flight Catering (EKFC)
EKFC operates the largest flight catering facility of its kind and prepares over 115,000 meals per day for Emirates and other airlines departing from Dubai. An extensive recycling programme was implemented by EKFC in early 2010, diverting a wide range of materials from landfill, including paper and cardboard, aluminium foil and cans, steel and tin cans, plastic bottles and containers, and cooking oil and wood. Over 1.4 million kg of materials were recycled in the 2010-11 financial year.
Emirates Engineering (EKE)
The technical heart of Emirates operations has incorporated recycling initiatives into its general waste stream and its aircraft interior refurbishment project. In the first six months of its new recycling programme, EKE diverted 117,000kg of material from landfill, including 25,450kg of aviation grade A2017A aluminium.
A range of other Group businesses lead the way in recycling of waste, such as dnata Airport Operations, with over 2,042 tonnes of paper and cardboard recovered from aircraft cabin cleaning at Dubai International Airport in 2010-11. A simple yet innovative coat hanger return and reuse programme saved 6.4 tonnes of metal from being landfilled in the past year - an impressive result given that the average weight of a coat hanger is just 80 grams. The Emirates Group also recycles used clothing from staff, resulting in over 24,000kg of items being recycled in 2010-11.
Case study: 777 interiors refurbishment and recycling project
Emirates prides itself on offering a consistently excellent inflight experience to passengers. Part of this experience is the quality of cabin interiors.
To ensure that passengers travelling on any route enjoy the same level of comfort, Emirates selectively carries out refurbishment of aircraft interiors. As the airline boasts one of the world’s youngest fleets in the world (with an average aircraft age of just over 6 years), refurbishment of cabin interiors is a relatively new programme, having commenced in mid-2010.
Refurbishment of an aircraft’s interior at Emirates Engineering involves complete stripping of all fixtures and furniture within the aircraft’s cabin space. This includes aluminium seat frames, seat mouldings, cables and electronics, carpets, toilets, and seat coverings.
A few of these components are stored, to be refitted at a later date prior to retiring the aircraft. However, the vast majority of the items stripped from the aircraft would ordinarily be waste headed for landfill disposal.
Emirates engaged a local recycling company to strip down the aircraft interiors’ components, fittings and fixtures into several streams of saleable, recyclable materials. In doing so, Emirates has created the opportunity for these materials to enter the recyclables market.
The quantities of materials separated and sent for recycling are demonstrative of the programme’s success: over 64,000kg of materials have been diverted from landfill since the start of the programme in August 2010 to the end of the financial year (31st March 2011). This includes:
- 25,450kg of 2017A aviation grade aluminium
- 8,898kg of polycarbonate plastic
- 24,156kg of textiles and leather
- 2,506kg of carpet
- 525kg of cables
- 430kg of electric motors/actuators