Reduce, reuse, recycle and recover


As part of its commitment to the 4R principle, ADM has set a goal of achieving recovery of 50% of all waste materials generated at Montréal–Trudeau. This objective represents a significant challenge for an airport, given the wide variety of people there (e.g., passengers, employees, restaurant owners, retailers) and the diversity of waste generated. Effective waste sorting and constant awareness-raising among passengers and employees are keys to success.

To that end, multi-material recovery bins have been installed in public areas as well as administrative offices throughout Montréal-Trudeau, enabling collection and recycling of paper, cardboard, plastic, glass and metal.

Collection of organic waste


Following a successful pilot project conducted with three restaurants in the Montréal–Trudeau terminal building in spring 2012, collection of organic waste was extended to all concessions of the terminal.

To ensure the success of the project, ADM acquired and installed an organic-materials compactor and provided bins to restaurants in the terminal. This enabled rollout of the new collection system in 2013, and it has proven truly successful: all restaurants at Montréal–Trudeau are participating and more than 50% of waste material that is produced is compostable.

This project, which benefited from a grant from RECYC-Québec, enabled recovery of 135 tonnes of organic waste in 2014, which does not include 18 tonnes of food donated to Moisson Montréal food bank by restaurants operated by HMS Host.

Montréal–Trudeau airport has been awarded Level 2 attestation under the provincial ICI ON RECYCLE! program. A backgrounder (French only)  created by RECYC-Québec explains the process by which organic-materials collection was implemented at Montréal–Trudeau.

Other types of collection

Acting on various innovative ideas, ADM has implemented collection stations to effectively recover and recycle different kinds of waste materials.

  • Empty ink cartridges are collected for the Mira Foundation;
  • Under the Call2Recycle/Cellàrecycler program, bins for collection of cellphones and spent batteries have been installed;
  • End-of-life-cycle electronic devices are collected from companies at the airport;
  • A smart bin provided by Electrobac has been installed for travellers to drop off small electronic devices for recovery (an initiative of The Source store).

Construction and demolition materials

Contributing to the objectives of the Québec Residual Materials Management Policy, ADM implements a number of measures for recovery and recycling of materials from infrastructure construction and demolition.

  • Before construction projects on a certain scale are begun, an evaluation is conducted to determine the potential for recovery of materials and to establish a strategy for their recovery and sorting.
  • During runway and pavement work, concrete and asphalt are recovered and crushed onsite so that they can be reused as backfill for the apron foundations as well as for grading of adjacent roadways. Recycling of materials onsite means materials are not transported to landfills or other worksites, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Equipment from the former terminal building at Montréal–Mirabel was donated to the government of Haiti for the airport at Cap Haïtien in 2014; this included 100 or so check-in counters, mechanical scales, 2,000 luggage trolleys and more than 500 seats. This equipment will therefore be reused.

For large-scale projects, ADM targets diversion from landfill of a minimum of 75% of waste materials, in compliance with the LEED Canada NC 2009 reference guide. To this end, demolition work is performed so as to recover as many recyclables as possible, in spite of difficulties sometimes posed by the presence of asbestos and other contaminants.

Mirabel_demantelement.jpgOne very good example of recovery, recycling and optimum reclamation of such materials has been the demolition of the former Montréal–Mirabel terminal building. The 2004 decision to permanently cease passenger service at the airport eventually resulted in the demolition, in 2014–2015, of the related infrastructures. As of April 30, 2015, ADM has succeeded in recovering about 10,000 tonnes of materials, which is equivalent to a recycling rate by weight of 96%.

International waste

Residual materials generated on board aircraft arriving in Canada from any country, including the United States, qualify as international waste under the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s International Waste Directive. After their removal from aircraft, such materials must be eliminated in compliance with said directive. As a result, neither ADM nor the air carriers are authorized to dispose of these materials in any other manner, which limits the possibility of their being recycled.

Reduced paper use

In order to reduce paper use as much as possible within the framework of its operations, ADM has implemented numerous measures:

  • Computerization of conference rooms to enable paperless meetings;
  • Electronic transmission of pay stubs to employees;
  • Use of digital tablets instead of paper work orders;
  • Implementation of a computerized system for invoicing of aeronautical fees (Airport 20/20), eliminating printed analysis reports and invoices;
  • Grouping of the various per-flight charges on a single invoice;
  • Reduction of the number of monthly billing cycles;
  • Electronic storage of copies of invoices as well as supporting documents for employee parking bills and charter transportation expenses;
  • Electronic transmission of invoices to companies equipped for this type of processing;
  • Electronic processing of credit notes.

In addition, ADM prefers purchasing of office paper that contains 100% recycled fibre and is FSC-certified.

Water-bottle filling stations


When going through the security checkpoints, passengers are required to dispose of all liquids into a collector. Filling stations have now been installed airside, enabling them to fill their emptied bottles with drinking water.

Green events


To lessen the potential environmental impacts of various events and business meetings, ADM applies the principles of the Bureau de normalisation du Québec (Québec’s standards office) standard for organization of sustainable meetings and events. A number of criteria are considered as part of this approach, such as GHG emissions reduction and residual materials generation. ADM’s annual employee barbecue is one event organized in keeping with this approach.

Green products

Mindful of ensuring environmental protection in all areas, ADM contractually obligates subcontractors to use of eco-friendly cleaning and maintenance products. The inventory of hazardous materials has been completely revised and significantly reduced.