05/28/2020 03:00 PM

New policy diverts waste from landfills and unsold food to charities.
May 28, 2020

LAX Public Relations

(424) 646-5260

(Los Angeles, CA) Last week, the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners (BOAC) approved the LAX Food Donation Policy. The policy enhances Los Angeles World Airports' (LAWA) sustainability efforts by requiring all food-serving businesses and organizations at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to participate in a food donation program.
"LAWA is once again leading the way in environmental sustainability and community stewardship with its food donation program that mandates the involvement of all our concessions and airport partners," said Gabriel Eshaghian, Commissioner, BOAC. "This policy requires our terminal restaurants, concessions, lounges and businesses that sell or offer food to transform its unused, edible food from being wasted into something worthwhile that benefits everyone."

"Operating sustainably means managing your resources in socially responsible ways, and food is just as important a resource as water and energy," said Justin Erbacci, Interim Chief Executive Officer, LAWA. "I want to thank our Board of Airport Commissioners and all of our airport partners for supporting this policy to send unsold food at LAX to local nonprofit organizations instead of landfills." 

The policy supports Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti's "Sustainable City pLAn" and is a part of LAWA's Sustainability Action Plan (SAP), which sets aggressive goals for the airport to reduce 100 percent carbon electricity use to zero by 2045, reduce the use of potable water in non-potable usage scenarios to zero by 2045, attain carbon neutrality across operations by 2045, and to develop a plan to achieve zero waste across its facilities by 2020.

Concessionaires that distribute or sell grab-and-go food, such as sandwiches or other wrapped goods, must join a food donation program by December 31, 2020. Airlines, sit-down restaurants and caterers must join a program by Dec. 31, 2021. Any new concessionaires that operate at LAX in the future must demonstrate their commitment to participating in a food donation program before opening.

A 2019 LAWA survey of LAX concessionaires with direct agreements with LAWA found that 62 percent of respondents had excess edible food that they often threw in the trash to make room for fresh items. The LAX Food Donation Policy will divert that edible food away from landfills and to organizations that help those in need.

Prior to the new policy, some airport concessionaires have already been donating unsold food since May 2012 under the LAX Harvest Food Donation Program. This program is a partnership between LAX, Food Donation Connection, HMSHost and Delaware North. In 2019, the program donated over 36 tons of food to local charities (nearly 200 pounds per day), comprised of over 145,000 food items worth nearly $600,000. Charities receiving these donations in 2019 included organizations serving the homeless, as well as the Bob Hope USO at LAX. This program will continue, and will be an option for concessionaires seeking to meet the requirements of the new policy.

More information about LAX's sustainability goals and operations, including achieving carbon neutrality by 2045 and further expanding recycling and waste diversion efforts across all aspects of airport operations, can be found in the LAWA Sustainability Action Plan, which is available for download at

About Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

LAX, the third-busiest airport in the world and second busiest in the United States in 2019, is in the midst of a $14.3-billion capital improvement program that will touch on all nine passenger terminals and build new facilities, including an Automated People Mover (APM) train, Consolidated Rent-A-Car (ConRAC) facility and a 12- to 15-gate Midfield Satellite Concourse (MSC) addition to the Tom Bradley International Terminal.


In 2019, LAX served nearly 88.1 million passengers and offered an average of 700 daily nonstop flights to 113 destinations in the U.S. and 1,200 weekly nonstop flights to 91 markets in 46 countries on 72 commercial airlines.


LAX generates 620,600 jobs in Southern California, with labor income of $37.3 billion and economic output (business revenues) of more than $126.6 billion, according to an economic study based on 2014 operations. This activity added $6.2 billion to local and state revenues and $8.7 billion in federal tax revenues. The study also reported that LAX's ongoing capital improvement program creates an additional 121,640 annual jobs with labor income of $7.6 billion and economic output of $20.3 billion; $966 million in state and local taxes; and $1.6 billion in federal tax revenues.


LAX is part of a system of two Southern California airports – along with Van Nuys general aviation – that are owned and operated by Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), a proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles that receives no funding from the City's general fund.


LAWA is leading the aviation industry in sustainability practices, with initiatives related to water management, energy (electricity) management, air quality, recycling and natural resources management. In 2019, LAX received Level III ACI Airport Carbon Accreditation from Airport Councils International-Europe.


LAWA is also a leader in inclusivity, operating eight programs that provide opportunities for business enterprises including local, small, minority-owned, veteran-owned and disadvantaged firms, and working together with community partners to offer the HireLAX Apprenticeship Readiness Program, which targets local workers to make them ready for rewarding careers in the construction trades, and the Build LAX Academy, designed to prepare small contracting businesses for success when working on projects at LAX.


LAX was named a top-10 U.S. airport by SKYTRAX in 2018, and was honored as the "Most Innovative Airport for Passenger Experience" in 2019 by the American Association of Airport Executives. LAX is the second-most popular airport in the world to appear on Instagram, according to Other recent honors have included selection as the No. 9 Best Airport (Wall Street Journal); No. 7 Best On-Time Performance for a Mega-Hub Airport (OAG); one of "The World's Best Airports for Business Travelers" (GlobeHunters); Public-Private Partnership of the Year (P3 Bulletin); Urth Caffe, Best Airport Coffee Concession of the Year (Global FAB Awards); Innovation of the Year, Consolidated Rent-A-Car Facility (ARTBA); Best Project, United Airlines Terminal 7 and 8 Redevelopment Program (Engineering News Record California); North American Public-Private Partnership Deal of the Year (IJ Global); and Innovative Transportation Solution of the Year, Automated People Mover (WTS LA).

As a covered entity under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the City of Los Angeles does not discriminate on the basis of disability and, upon request, will provide reasonable accommodation to ensure equal access to its programs, services, and activities. Alternative formats in large print, braille, audio, and other forms (if possible) will be provided upon request

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