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Detroit Metropolitan Airport launches improved recycling program

News Releases
May 23 2019

DETROIT (May 23, 2019) – The Wayne County Airport Authority (WCAA) is continuing its commitment to sustainability by redeveloping the public recycling program in Detroit Metropolitan Airport’s (DTW) North Terminal. The modifications being made to the program are in response to customer suggestions and the State of Michigan’s efforts to improve recycling throughout the state.

This week, the Airport Authority has added 45 colored recycling receptacles to the North Terminal. The recyclable contents placed in the bins will be brought to an in-terminal recycling compactor before being transported to a local recycling facility to begin the journey to become reprocessed.

“Detroit Metropolitan Airport is often the first place people experience when visiting our great state,” said Wayne County Airport Authority CEO Chad Newton. “We are happy to partner with our customers and airport community to reduce how much waste is sent to landfills. As an organization, we strive to be good environmental stewards and will continue to implement green features throughout our terminals.”

DTW has long been an industry leader in recycling aircraft deicing fluid and is one of the top two airports known worldwide for this practice. In 2018, more than 56,000 lbs. of paper, 53,500 lbs. of metal, 12,600 lbs. of cardboard and 240 lbs. of plastic were recycled from Airport Authority offices.

Nearly 1,550 tons of waste was removed from the North Terminal in 2016, with 20 percent being recyclable. The Airport Authority encourages travelers to help maximize the amount of recyclable material by appropriately disposing of plastic bottles, metal cans and paper into one of the new recycling bins.

“Our new waste receptacles use colors, shapes and pictures to help simplify the recycling process for our passengers,” said WCAA Sustainability Program Administrator Sara Kaplan. “A single plastic bottle can take hundreds of years to decompose in a landfill.  With recycling, those bottles can be turned into other consumer products, such as t-shirts, carpet fiber, and even recycling bins.  Our new recycling bins are made out of recycled milk jugs, with 97 percent recycled content.”

The Airport Authority is committed to sustainability through its People, Planes, and Planet Program. In addition to in-terminal recycling, WCAA has implemented a coffee ground compost and food donation program for terminal concessions. There are also several electric car charging and bottle filling stations at various locations throughout DTW.  

Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) welcomed more than 35 million passengers in 2018 and is one of the world’s leading air transportation hubs. With service from 13 scheduled passenger airlines, Michigan’s largest airport offers approximately 1,100 flights per day to and from more than 140 nonstop destinations on four continents. With two award-winning passenger terminals, six jet runways, and an onsite AAA Four-Diamond Westin Hotel, DTW is among the world’s most efficient, customer friendly and operationally capable airports in North America.  DTW is operated by the Wayne County Airport Authority, which also operates nearby Willow Run Airport – an important corporate, cargo and general aviation facility.  The Airport Authority is entirely self-sustaining and does not receive tax dollars to support airport operations.   Visit for more information.


For additional information, members of the media may contact:

Erica Donerson – [email protected] or Lisa Gass – [email protected]

Media Line – (734) 247-7379

MEDIA LINE: (734) 247-7379