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April 22nd 2019 | Written By Press Release | Share

Ford Airport Partners with County on SORT Program to Increase Recycling

Ford Airport Partners with County on SORT Program to Increase Recycling

Grand Rapids, Mich. – The next time you travel you may notice new recycling bins throughout the airport terminal facility, an effort to create an even more environmentally friendly space at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GFIA).

GFIA placed 20 new recycling receptacles throughout the airport terminal building today, working with Kent County to use the SORT program – a Kent County/City of Grand Rapids collaboration aimed at bringing a cohesive and recognizable look to trash and recycling receptacles in West Michigan. The stoplight color scheme – red for trash, yellow for recycling, and green for composting (where organic collection services are available) familiarizes people with the concept of separating their discards to reduce waste going for disposal. Kent County’s goal is to reduce landfilled waste by 20-percent by 2020, and 90-percent by 2030.

“We’re happy to help GFIA install waste receptacles that use the colors and shapes in the SORT program to help simplify recycling for visitors. It’s a great way to reduce how much is sent to landfills and Kent County’s Waste to Energy facility,” said Darwin Bass, Kent County’s DPW Director. “Recycling is as important as it has ever been and it’s something we can all do to benefit our community.”

GFIA has made many eco-friendly efforts over the years including:

  • Pavement Recycling: The Ford Airport recycles 99.2-percent of the concrete and asphalt from pavement reconstruction projects
  • Energy-Efficiency: In 2018, the Ford Airport was recognized for its energy-efficiency for six projects. The Airport saved 2,140,991 kilowatt hours of electricity or enough to power nearly 300 Michigan homes for one year.
  • Water Bottle Refilling Stations: GFIA encourages passengers to bring their refillable water bottle with them to fill at one of our filtered refilling stations – together we save over 100,000 plastic bottles and landfill space each year.

The Airport is also a zero waste-to-landfill facility, and trash that comes from GFIA is used to generate electricity at Kent County’s Waste to Energy facility.

“We are proud to add initiatives like the SORT program that help leave as little of a footprint on the planet as possible,” said GFIA Interim President & CEO Brian Picardat. “Over the years, our team has made an extra effort to increase our recycling efforts, be good environmental stewards, and implement green features throughout our facility.”

For more about the SORT program visit: or call 616-632-7920.

About GFIA

The Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GFIA) is the second busiest airport in Michigan. The Airport served over 3.26 million passengers in 2018 and over 8,000 travelers pass through GFIA each day. The Gerald R. Ford International Airport offers nonstop service to 29 major market destinations with more than 120 daily nonstop flights. The Gerald R. Ford International Airport is managed and operated by the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority. GFIA generates over $3.1 billion in annual economic output throughout West Michigan, and employs over 2,000 people. For more information on GFIA visit: or follow the airport on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter: @FlyGRFord

Topics: Press Release, Sustainability