Resource Conservation


Water Efficient Landscaping

As specified in the Sustainable Airport Manual™​​​ (SAM®​​), the CDA requires all projects to maximize water efficiency within buildings to reduce the burden on the municipal water supply and wastewater systems and to also limit or eliminate the use of potable water for landscape irrigation.

Water efficient landscaping techniques employed at O'Hare include:

  • Planting drought tolerant and native plant species
  • Using high-efficiency irrigation techniques
  • Use of captured rainwater
  • Use of recycled, non-potable water

Waste Management

The CDA is committed to reducing its environmental footprint through efficient recycling, reuse, and management of non-hazardous and hazardous wastes generated at O’Hare.

Single-Stream Recycling

In O’Hare’s single-stream recycling program, mixed paper (office paper, newspaper, magazines, cardboard, paperboard, telephone directories) and containers (steel cans, aluminum cans, glass bottles, and plastic bottles) are placed in a single recycling container. This increases the ease and convenience of recycling so more people participate. The recyclables are collected and hauled off-site for processing.

Battery Recycling

Common batteries used in office settings can contain mercury, cadmium, and other toxic material. To keep these from the conventional waste stream, landfills, and ground water, the CDA maintains battery collection points in multiple work areas for safe, simple access by employees. These batteries are then disposed of properly and recycled to the greatest extent practical.