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Delta celebrates 10th anniversary of industry-first on board recycling program

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Delta started recycling aluminum cans on board in 1990 and 10 years ago, it became the first airline with a comprehensive recycling program for cans, newspapers, water bottles and snack containers.

This year the airline will surpass $1 million raised from recycled goods to build Habitat for Humanity homes. The airline has built eight houses in five Delta cities with a ninth planned for this year.

Here are a few more highlights of the program (as of Jan. 1):

  • Flight attendants have collected more than 6,500 tons of material
  • Their efforts have avoided filling nearly 26,000 cubic yards of landfill space
  • That's enough material to fill the cargo hold of a 747-400 widebody aircraft 110 times
  • Combined, that volume of recycling would weigh as much as 747 airplanes fully loaded for takeoff
  • In 2017, the airline will capture enough aluminum to supply the aluminum needs of aircraft manufacturer Airbus for at least seven A350-900 widebody aircraft