Airport Recycling Specialists (ARS) is the leader in its field. In 1989 we established the world`s first comprehensive recycling program for the airport environment. More than 20 years later, we remain the only company in the world to successfully run a dedicated Material Recovery Facility (MRF) at an international airport. The effectiveness our strategies has been demonstrated by our MRF at Fort Lauderdale International. This one facility has recovered over 30 million pounds of recyclable materials from the waste stream. This has yielded many significant environmental benefits, including energy savings and greenhouse gas reductions. Equally remarkable, we accomplished all this while reducing our customers` waste management costs.
Airport Recycling Specialists came into existence in 1989. In the late 1980's our company's founder, Don Duerr, was looking for ways to reduce waste management costs for an airline service company he managed at Fort Lauderdale - Hollywood International Airport (FLL). With three decades of experience working at large airports, Don noticed much of the waste coming off commercial airlines was recyclable. This included a significant amount of aluminum. In 1988, he gathered up a large number of garbage bags that were bound for the landfill. In their spare time, he and his family sorted through the material to see what was being thrown away at FLL. This may have been the first analysis ever conducted on an airport's waste stream.
The survey confirmed what he suspected: airport waste had value and extracting the recyclables could not only be done economically, it could also help control the rapidly increasing waste disposal costs. So in 1988 he formed Airport Recycling Specialists (ARS) and worked out agreements with the major airlines at FLL to process their wastes. The world's first airport recycling program was born.
In the early years ARS sorted waste materials manually. After several years of study and design, ARS opened a dedicated airport Material Recovery Facility (MRF) in 1995. Nothing like this existed at the time, and it remains at the cutting edge today. By developing strategies tailored specifically for processing airline waste at the MRF, recycling recovery rates at FLL increased to over 30%.
Since then, ARS has continued to refine its strategies to enhance recovery and cut costs. Our FLL facility currently extracts 2-3 million pounds of commodities from the waste stream every year. This includes essentially all aluminum cans discarded at the airport. We have recycled non-repairable airport equipment, including vehicles, baggage carts, wheel chairs and non-airworthy aircraft. We even find and return lost items, such as wallets, purses, cell phones and other personal items that would be recovered at other airports. No other airport recycling or waste management program can offer the same benefits ARS has realized at FLL.
We have also broadened our focus since 1989. In addition to running the FLL recycling program and advising airports on ways to address their solid waste problems, we are now developing recycling and waste management programs for off-airport businesses