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From Airplane Trash to Treasure at Tampa International Airport

February 14, 2012 at 9:36 AM | by | ()

The folks over at Tampa International Airport are taking a new approach to airport dining, but it has nothing to do with serving up sandwiches and other on-the-go items within the terminal. They’re ensuring that any and all airport leftovers make their way to those in need, instead of simply tossing the leftover Sbarro slices in the trash.

It’s been about two years since someone at HMSHost—purveyor of fine airport foods everywhere—was concerned about the amount of waste from airport dining establishments. Things like sandwiches, fruits, and yogurt parfaits were past their sell-by-date, but they were hardly spoiled or expired. So instead of just sending them off to the landfill, the airport began partnering with organizations like Feeding America to ensure that someone else could benefit from a little extra nourishment.

In the last couple of years there’s been like 167,000 meals saved, and countless other items like product packaging have been reused and recycled. They even send old coffee grounds off to the University of South Florida Botanical Gardens to keep the flowers and plants happy. It’s not just Tampa thinking outside of the box, as there are plans for similar options to start up sooner than later at other airports in Las Vegas, Honolulu, and Seattle as well.

Of course HMSHost and the airport enjoys cash savings by going green and helping out the community; heir total trash bill has been drastically reduced. We'd be happy to chip in at the airport to help out the cause too, so we'll be on the look-out for a donation jar.

[Photo: dandeluca]

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