An assessment of waste management efficiency at BAA airports

Michael Pitt, Andrew Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The issue of waste management within airports is becoming increasingly important with enormous increases in passenger numbers and is a key responsibility of the facilities manager. Airports are notoriously poor environmental performers and this growth in the industry is leading to increasing levels of waste production. The purpose of this paper is to assess the efficiency of waste management operations at BAA airports, with reference to best practices within airports in continental Europe. The paper presents the findings of a survey of waste management methods in a sample of UK airports. The analysis of numerical data is based on those airports in the BAA group. Many of these are among the busiest airports in Britain, and Heathrow and Gatwick are two of the world's busiest. Data constraints prevented a more detailed analysis of other airports outside BAA. The paper highlights some difficulties in measuring BAA's waste management efficiency based on the waste hierarchy and concludes that some European airports have achieved greater efficiency in waste management. The situation is now changing though and BAA is taking environmental management seriously. However, a more co-ordinated approach to environmental strategy is needed across the industry and this is best produced at government level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-431
Number of pages11
JournalConstruction Management and Economics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2003


  • Airports
  • Environment
  • Facilities management
  • Recyling
  • Waste


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