Going Green: Co-Mingled Recycling Breaks Southwest Record


Asking Customers to hand over those aluminum cans and newspapers to our Flight Attendants has continued to pay off by diverting waste from our landfills and saving money on our bottom-line.  The waste diversion numbers are in for April, and the results have success written all over them.

Whether you’re a Flight Attendant making an announcement to let Customers know we recycle or a Provisioning Agent collecting the co-mingled recycling items off of the aircraft or one of the Stations, Bases or Centers that recycles, with the help of all of our Employees, we’re proud to share that in April we diverted the most we ever have in one month with nearly half a million pounds, or 245 tons, from our landfill space.  That’s the weight of almost six Boeing 737-700 aircraft! Now, that deserves some recognition, or if you’re Facilities Programs Manager Debbie N., you’re doing a happy dance right about now. 

Why is this important?  First, because environmental decisions also make good business sense, we are saving money for the Company.  When we divert waste into the recycling stream, we’re saving money by reducing waste pickups, for which the Company has to pay – this is direct, bottom-line savings.  Second, we get a rebate on our recycled goods, which pays for the recycling program and allows us to purchase equipment to help make our recycling program more efficient and robust.  Third, we help protect our natural resources.  And, there is still another reason!  Our co-mingled recycling program also minimizes gas emissions which in turn reduce our carbon footprint – we preserve raw materials as well as the energy and water required for the processing raw materials.   

Bottom line, our results from April show that the proof is in the pudding when you look at the success of our Green efforts.  Thanks to all Employees for making our Customers aware that we recycle and operate with a Green filter.  And, thanks to our Customers for supporting our co-mingled recycling program by handing over those aluminum cans and paper. It’s really paying off for the environment and for the business.


  1. Thanks for the info on recycling. i recycle at home. I carry cloth sacks to the grocery stores, etc. It makes me very happy to learn that my first choice to fly back to Chicago from Tampa, Fl also recycles daily. I would recommend your airline to my family and friends,

    Thank you,

    Susanne B.
    Tampa, Fl

  2. 245 tons of waste diversion is amazing. You should be proud. It is nice to see such a commitment to recycling and also to realize the financial implications it can have on your company’s bottom line. By recycling, you are not only saving the world, you are saving money! There is no reason not to particiipate.

    Keep setting the bar high!