Making ourselves (re)useful

Both on the ground and in the air, we focus on reusing and recycling materials rather than treating them as trash.

Get onboard with recycling

We’re in business to fly people where they want to go, not to transport trash. Our onboard recycling program – launched in 2013 – helps us close the loop on some of our waste. Under the program, inflight crewmembers separate bottles and cans from other waste during flights and our ground crew processes these materials for recycling at the landing destination.


Royal Waste Service logo

Thousands of people pass through airport terminals each day, and many stop for a meal or snack. In most terminals, valuable food scraps are sent to landfills, where their nutritional value is lost and they emit GHGs during decomposition. We decided to capture those valuable nutrients so they could be reused. In 2013, we announced a partnership to compost food waste at JFK Airport’s Terminal 5, working with Dunkin’ Donuts and Jamba Juice (through their franchise owner Air Ventures) and Royal Waste Services.

Through our composting partnership with Royal Waste Services, we send thousands of pounds to a composting facility where it is turned into fertilizer and nutrient-rich soil for farms.

After collecting food waste and sending it to be processed, much of the compost is transported by Royal Waste to McEnroe Organic Farm, an 800-acre farm in New York’s Harlem Valley that produces vegetables, fruits, poultry and other organic items. In the program’s first seven months, we composted 9,590 pounds of material.