International Airport Building Huge Worm Composting Facility

Jacob Levine/CC BY-SA 2.0

As we wait for blimps to replace airplanes and greener jet fuel to go mainstream, the chances are that much of the innovation in the immediate term toward making flying greener will happen on the ground.

From Denver Colorado Airport adding 2MW of solar power to O'Hare welcoming beekeepers with felony convictions, we've seen some important steps by major airports to become at least a little bit greener. Now the Charlotte Observer reports that Charlotte/Douglas International Airport in North Carolina is doing its part, launching a $1.1m recycling center that includes very large-scale worm composting:

The airport is installing a worm-based composting system as part of a new $1.1 million recycling center, expected to open in February. Soon, hundreds of pounds of worms will be munching away on a ton or so of travelers' trash a day, according to airport officials.

"We generate a lot of garbage here, and it's incredibly expensive to collect it, haul it off and pay to dispose of it," said airport director Jerry Orr. The new composting system will be built to handle up to two tons of waste daily - enough to keep up with eventual airport expansion, officials said. The airport plans to spread the worms' waste as fertilizer on its 6,000 acres, and package and sell the excess.

We already knew that worm composting was becoming big business, but having the backing of major facilities like Charlotte/Douglas Airport should help take vermicomposting to the next level.

Tags: Composting | North Carolina | United States | Zero Waste