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back to WasteLess Business ProjectPallet Exchange at USAirways

U.S. Airways, a domestic and international passenger service airline, operates a cargo operation at LaGuardia Airport. Incoming cargo arrives on pallets, and after it is distributed, a large surplus of empty pallets remains.

Although the cargo facility possesses two 30-cubic-yard, open-top containers — one for pallets and another for trash — both containers were largely (approximately 90 percent) filled with surplus pallets. The facility’s carter charged $450 to pick up the pallet container once a week, and $600 to pick up the trash container. Due to the co-mingling of garbage and pallets in the designated pallet container, U.S. Airways was continually charged $600 per container per pickup.

U.S. Airways staff learned that their trucking operation at JFK International Airport was in need of pallets. LaGuardia cargo staff now store usable pallets (approximately 80 to 100 pallets weekly) for pickup by JFK trucking staff. This has reduced container collection at the LaGuardia cargo facility from once a week to once a month. These efforts have annually saved U.S. Airways roughly $12,950 in waste disposal and operational costs, and $28,000 in pallet purchasing costs.

Source: NYC WasteLess Summary Report, spring 2000, p. 70

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