Flughafen Zürich AG’s systematic waste management ensures that almost all waste is recycled or disposed of thermally.


As a major transport hub handling cargo and tens of thousands of people every day with constantly expanding infrastructure, Zurich Airport generates a considerable volume of waste. Flughafen Zürich AG therefore prioritises avoiding waste from the outset. Where this is not feasible, it collects recyclables separately and disposes of residual waste in an environmentally responsible manner.


Flughafen Zürich AG handles the disposal of its own waste as well as the majority of waste from other companies at the airport. It has implemented a range of measures to collect recyclables separately and send them for recycling wherever possible and expedient. Normal waste is burned in a waste incineration plant and the heat produced is used to generate electricity and supply a district heating network.


The quantity of waste in the reporting period declined compared with the previous year: in 2019 18,439 tonnes of waste were collected, corresponding to a fall of 12%. This was because extraordinarily high quantities of metal and bulky goods waste accumulated in the previous year. In the reporting period, the quantities were in line with the long-term average.

This has a direct impact on the proportion of waste sent for recycling, which declined from 48.9% in 2018 to 45.9%. By contrast, the proportion of mixed waste rose to 53%. The quantity of collected paper/cardboard – at 2,846 tonnes – was on a par with the previous year.

The quantity of PET waste collected that was sent for recycling increased sharply by 28% over the previous year to 358 tonnes. The decline in the quantity of confiscated liquids at the security check (202 tonnes) is also encouraging.

To enable a comparison with other airports to be made, the quantities indicated were defined by the German airports association (ADV).