More than 18 tons of masks and other infectious waste were recovered at Salvador Bahia Airport

More than 18 tons of masks and other infectious waste were recovered at Salvador Bahia Airport

Terminal is zero landfill since 2020 and was the first in Brazil to recover all its waste

With the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, masks, gloves, disinfectant tissues, and other disposable products became part of the routine of Brazilians. In 2020, only at Salvador Bahia Airport, part of the VINCI Airports network, more than 18 tons of infectious waste – a category that includes the items listed above – were discarded. This entire volume, contrary to what many people think, was not sent to sanitary landifill, but was reused as fuel for cement kilns.

Infectious residues are those that present a potential or effective risk to public health and the environment due to the presence of biological agents with characteristics of virulence, pathogenicity or concentration. At Salvador Bahia Airport, this list is made up of aircraft toilet waste, products seized by VIGIAGRO on the arrival of international flights, dead animals and waste allegedly contaminated by Covid-19, such as gloves, masks and aprons. The pandemic made this volume grow 12.8% in 2020 compared to 2019, even with the temporary reduction in the total of flights.

"After disposal by the passenger or another airport user, this type of waste is collected and stored separately from the others until its final destination. We hired a legal and licensed company that sends this material for a treatment called autoclaving (heat treatment that consists of keeping the contaminated material at an elevated temperature for a period enough to destroy all pathogens). Afterwards, this waste is sent for reuse in cement kilns using the coprocessing technique, which is an appropriate and sustainable waste destination", details Alessandra Reis, Environment Coordinator at Salvador Bahia Airport.


By recycling or reinserting waste in the production system in some way, this initiative reflects Salvador Bahia Airport’s – as well as all the other VINCI Airports members’ – commitment to circular economy.

It is in line with one of the goals of the environmental policy of the VINCI Airports network – Air Pact – which is precisely not to dispose of waste in a landfill. According to the Group's commitment, all of its airports must be zero landfill by 2030. Salvador Bahia Airport achieved this goal in early 2020, just two years after VINCI Airports took over its operation.


AirPact is the global environmental policy of the VINCI Airports network. It establishes ambitious sustainable targets for all its airports, which are expected to be reached by 2030. In addition to the goal of not disposing of waste in landfills, the policy also provides for: reducing water consumption by 50%, eliminating the use of pesticides and reducing carbon footprint in half. To achieve this latest achievement, Salvador Airport has already replaced conventional lamps with LEDs, installed a solar plant (the first in Brazil at an aerodrome) and replaced refrigeration equipment with more efficient ones, earning ACA (Airport Carbon Accreditation) certification level 2 in 2019.

About Salvador Bahia Airport

Located in Salvador, capital of Bahia and the first Brazilian capital, Salvador Bahia Airport has been part of the VINCI Airports network since January 2, 2018 through a 30-year Concession Contract. Since then, the airport has incorporated global operating standards, seeking to deliver more efficiency, safety and a better travel experience for its passengers. With this objective, works were carried out to modernize and expand the passenger terminal, an investment of R $ 700 million that increased its capacity by 50%, from 10 million to 15 million passengers per year.

Named as the "Most Sustainable Aerodrome in Brazil", Salvador Bahia Airport stands out for its pioneering spirit in environmental preservation actions. Guided by Air Pact, VINCI Airports' global strategy, the airport was the first in Brazil to reuse 100% of the water consumed, not to dispense solid waste for landfills and to have a solar plant – with 4.2 MW of power. The airport's actions to reduce carbon emissions led it to receive the Carbon Accreditation Certification (ACA Certification) by the International Airport Council (ACI). More information can be found on the website or on the social networks @salvadorbahiaairport.

About VINCI Airports

VINCI Airports, the leading private airport operator in the world, manages 45 airports in12 countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas. We harness our expertise a comprehensive integrator to develop, finance, build and operate airports, while leveraging our investment capability and expertise in optimising operational performance, modernising infrastructure and driving environmental transition. VINCI Airports became the first airport operator to start rolling out an international environmental strategy, in 2016, with a view to achieving net zero emissions throughout its network by 2050. 
More information:  @VINCIAirports