Today is America Recycles Day—a day nationally recognized and dedicated to encourage more Americans to commit to recycling every day of the year. Every pledge counts—if all Americans recycled just one more can per week, the U.S. would be recycling at a rate of 75 percent and would save enough energy to power almost 300,000 average U.S. homes for a full year. That’s a staggering number.
At Southwest Airlines, we know the right thing to do is to reduce, reuse, and recycle. In August 2008, we awarded Republic Services, Inc., our recycling contract. Republic Services was willing to accept a co-mingled recycling stream from both facilities and aircraft, similar to some municipal recycling programs. On November 1, 2009, we reached a significant milestone when we officially launched onboard recycling on our entire fleet of 548 aircraft.
In our partnership with Republic Services, our co-mingled recycling program has grown to include our Headquarters Campus in Dallas; six Customer Service & Support centers; 22 Provisioning facilities; and our Aircraft Maintenance bases in Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, and Chicago. As a result of our ongoing environmental stewardship commitment, Southwest Airlines has diverted more than 4,200 tons of material from landfills and into recycling facilities since August 2008. That’s equal to the weight of nearly 100 Boeing 737-700 aircraft.
We’ve seen success with our co-mingled recycling program, but we can’t rest! In 2011, our goal is to increase the total amount of paper, plastic, aluminum, and cardboard recycled from our facilities and aircraft by ten percent over our 2010 total. We are at 7.5% now, and if we all work together for the remainder of the year, we will make our ten percent goal! To read more about our environmental efforts, check out the 2010 Southwest Airlines One Report, which can be found on the Need to Know tab.
Get involved in your community and make a difference—find out what can be recycled, when, where, and how at http://americarecyclesday.org/find-recycling. You can also join the conversation on Twitter by using the #recyclesday hashtag.