Airport Uses Nearly 2 Million Worms To Turn Its Trash Into Treasure

by Mandy Adwell on 12/28/2012

in Business,Earth,Technology

Worm farm

Rather than sending its trash to a landfill, the Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina is turning tons of organic waste into fertilizer, deploying 1.9 million worms to do the job.

The airport waste includes all sorts of plastic items, articles of clothing, and food that are all left behind or quickly discarded by passengers in a hurry. Recyclable materials are sorted and sold, and the rest of the waste is transferred to a 50-foot long composting bin where the worms get to work. The fertilizer is then used to nourish the airport’s flower beds and shrubs.

The program was implemented about 4 months ago and cost $1.2 million, but in that short amount of time as much as 70% of its waste has been kept from the landfill. In five years, the airport will likely be making a profit from its fertilizer sales.

I wonder if more companies will piggyback off this idea once the airport starts making a profit, particularly grocery stores that could then turn around and sell their own garbage right back to their customers. Do you think it this bright idea could catch on?

Image CC licensed by Jacob Levine

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