Delta Airlines conducted its sixth annual Employee Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Day on Friday, at the airline''s Technical Operations Center in Atlanta.
This annual event provides an opportunity for Delta employees and retirees to dispose of hazardous waste they have accumulated in their homes, including oil, paint, gasoline, anti-freeze, transmission fluid and other material that is not easily discarded.
"This Delta event is one way of celebrating Earth Day. It shows Delta''s ongoing commitment to the health and safety of its employees and community through the preservation of the environment," said John Marshall, Delta''s vice president of Corporate Safety and Compliance.
Delta''s Atlanta on-site waste management contractor, Safety Kleen, provided trained field chemists to help with the collection of the hazardous waste.
Last year''s Hazardous Waste Disposal Day resulted in the collection of approximately 50,000 pounds of household hazardous waste material from Delta employees -- a 33 percent increase over 1999.
Delta also has other waste minimization initiatives it conducts throughout the year to demonstrate its commitment to the environment.
"Throughout our organization, we strive for excellence as we pursue the delicate balance required to operate an airline in compliance with environmental and safety regulations," said Marshall.
In addition to Hazardous Waste Disposal Day, Delta has developed waste minimization plans to reduce the environmental impact and operating costs at Delta stations that generate an appreciable amount of hazardous waste.
Some examples of Delta''s waste management projects include the goal of the Dallas/Ft. Worth station to reduce hazardous waste by more than 50 percent over the next five years.
To execute this goal, station management worked with a team of environmental consultants to map out processes around the generation and disposal of waste.
Using data gathered from this project, the team developed recommendations on how to significantly reduce waste.
As a result of better process management and employee training, the DFW station has already reduced hazardous waste by 52 percent and several waste streams by 100 percent, according to Marshall.
In another initiative, to manage waste that cannot be eliminated, Marshall said Delta selects disposal companies with the best environmental compliance programs.
The airline has signed agreements with seven national and international waste disposal companies following a lengthy process of investigating capabilities and performance reputations.
"By consolidating contractors for waste disposal, Delta is better able to track disposal practices and target opportunities for further waste reduction," said Marshall. "This practice has reduced environmental risk and corporate liability."
by Virginia Sutcliffe