Hundreds of plastic and glass bottles that carry a redeemable cash deposit end up in the garbage bin each day at Hamburg Airport. They are particularly numerous in front of the security checks, where they are being disposed of, as they may not be taken on the plane. Hamburg Airport now turned this waste back into value by placing six collection bins in the terminals, where passengers can donate their deposit bottles.
Money for a Good Cause
Former long-term unemployed empty these bins as part of everyday airport operations, check the bottles and prepare them for collection. They thus get a permanent job and a regular income. They are being paid by Hamburg’s street magazine Hinz & Kunzt from the proceeds of the collection.
“The campaign “Donate Your Bottle Deposit” has a twofold benefit: first, we allow people to get back on track through regular work and pay. At the same time, the initiative is also helping the preservation of our natural environment by supporting the recycling cycle,”, says John Scharenberg, director of aviation at Hamburg Airport and responsible for the project.
Charity Campaign also at other German Airports
Next to Hamburg Airport and Hinz & Kunzt, also Germany’s national recycling company “Der Grüne Punkt – Duales System Deutschland GmbH” is involved in the initiative. “While the employees of Hinz & Kunzt empty the container, the “Grüner Punkt (Green Dot) turns the assorted bottles into money”, explains Lazar Mercedes-Heubel, project manager of Hamburg Airport’s business division aviation.
The idea for “Donate Your Deposit” was presented by students of Baden-Württemberg’s University of Hohenheim, who were all members of the student organisation “Enactus”. At the University of Hohenheim, the proceeds of collected returnable bottles have already been donated to charities for quite a while. After first positive experiences, the project was then introduced at the airports of Stuttgart and Cologne. “We are delighted that we were able to also introduce the charity campaign that fast here at Hamburg Airport, and we are sure that this good cause will continue to catch on”, said Michael Eggenschwiler, CEO Hamburg Airport.
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