Waste Management


To increase the recyclables recovery rate by 25% by 2025 compared to a 2018 baseline.

The Airport Authority (AA) handles waste generated from a broad range of sources at the airport including from aircraft servicing, 4-in-1 recycling bins in passenger terminals as well as waste from back of house areas including shops, restaurants, catering outlets, airline lounges and offices. 

Given that the AA is responsible for handling the waste generated by others, our primary focus is on driving upstream waste reduction and recyclables separation with the waste producers.  

In 2021, the AA set a new 2025 target to increase AA’s recyclables recovery rate by 25%, compared to a 2018 baseline. Recognising that half of the waste handled by the AA’s waste collection system has no recycling value, the new target has focused specifically on those waste materials that have a market value to the recycling industry. AA’s recyclables recovery rate in 2021 was 18.3%. 

Our Story

Food Waste Recycling

Food Waste Recycling and Surplus Food Rescue

Food waste accounts for well over 20% of the waste handled by our waste management contractor. As food waste can readily be treated to generate bio-gas or to generate energy, separating food waste and surplus food at source is a key focus area for our waste management efforts and our collaborative initiatives include:

Segregation and collection of food waste

The AA launched the food waste recycling programme in 2003. Through the programme, the AA provides free recycling bags to terminal building tenants for separate collection of food waste generated from their daily operations and funds the collection and delivery of food waste from over 15 airport business partners.

The food waste collected from our buildings and from business partners is then sent to the O · PARK1 for further processing, generating renewable energy and the residues from the process can be produced as compost. In 2021, over 550 tonnes of food waste was collected from the airport community for recycling.

HKIA Food Rescue Programme

The AA started the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) Food Rescue Programme in partnership with a local NGO, Food Angel, in 2013 collecting surplus food from restaurants and caterers at HKIA. Over the years, this programme has expanded to cover several major airport business partners and tenants. The surplus food collected is transformed into hot meal boxes for distribution to the needy. In 2021, around 115 tonnes of surplus food was collected and transformed into over 270,000 hot meal boxes. Further details of the AA’s waste performance in 2021 are available in the latest Sustainability Report.

Driving waste reduction inside terminal buildings

The AA is offering a variety of new and revamped facilities at HKIA to encourage waste reduction and recycling efforts in passenger areas. In an effort to reduce the use of single-use plastic water bottles at HKIA, more than 100 drinking water fountains are available across the passenger terminal buildings; and over 20 hot drinking water facilities have also been installed in these buildings.

Moreover, in early 2022 over 500 additional hand dryers have been installed in HKIA toilets under an ongoing toilet revamp programme intended to help reduce the use of paper towels. The upgraded toilets feature modernised designs with "one-stop" hand-washing and hand dryers within each basin unit to reduce the use of paper towels.

Artificial Intelligence Robotic Waste Sorter System

Municipal Solid Waste Charging

The Waste Disposal (Charging for Municipal Solid Waste) (Amendment) Bill 2018 was passed by the Legislative Council on 26 August 2021. The planned introduction of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Charging in Hong Kong will provide a clear incentive to drive further waste reduction and recycling efforts with our tenants.

In preparation for the implementation of MSW charging, the AA will collaborate with the tenants, airlines and airport business partners to implement a practical scheme for back-charging waste producers for all non-recyclable waste they produce.

Facilitating waste recycling

Through a waste separation at source programme, the AA distributes free recycling bags to all tenants to encourage separation of dry recyclables including plastic, paper, metal and glass bottles.

In addition, one of our waste stations will also be expanded to provide additional space for recyclables handling and storage. Our existing refuse rooms are being revamped to better facilitate easy recyclables separation and collection.

Exploring food transmarting technology

Exploring food transmarting technology

The AA is preparing to pilot Food TranSmarter technology at HKIA, a food waste pre-treatment solution invented by the Hong Kong Productivity Council. The Food TranSmarter operates round-the-clock, converting food waste into slurry on-site to facilitate very efficient collection and delivery to Government facilities for biogas production and electricity generation off-site.

The Food TranSmarter will be trialled in the HKIA Community Building refuse room, handling food waste from a new staff canteen and restaurants. If the trial is successful additional Food TranSmarters may be deployed at other food and beverage areas including food courts and staff canteens at HKIA.

Quick Facts


In 2003, the AA launched the food waste recycling programme


The HKIA Food Rescue Programme commenced in 2013 to collect surplus food from restaurants and caterers at HKIA


Conducted the MSW charging pilot


New waste target set aiming to increase AA’s recyclables recovery rate by 25%, compared to 2018 baseline.

2022 - 2023

Prepare the airport community for the launch of the Government’s MSW Charging Scheme at HKIA

Planning for waste management facilities to support enhanced recycling

Trial of Food TranSmarter technology

Awards & Recognition

Commendation Scheme on Source Separation of Commercial and Industrial Waste 2020/21 — Sliver Award
Hong Kong Green Organisation Certification — Wastewi$e Certificate (Excellence Level)
ACI Asia-Pacific Green Airports Recognition 2018 — Platinum