The Last Word: UTA’s Meghna Tare On How to Solve Big Problems, Like Turning DFW Airport Into a Zero-Waste Zone

“People sometimes don’t know where to start in approaching big problems.”

Meghna Tare
Chief Sustainability Officer
UT Arlington
.…on her role as a judge at the recent DFW Airport BOOST Challenge competition, aiming to turn the airport into a “zero-waste” zone.

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, already the first carbon-neutral airport in North America, is setting its sights on what could be an even bigger challenge: Producing zero waste.

Tare served as one of the judges in a recent two-day competition at the airport called the BOOST Challenge.

So how do you start in approaching big problems? Tare says it’s all about the basics: “You start from the very basics and think about data collection. What you measure now, you need to measure again in the future to see if there’s a trend line.”

That may sound simple, but it can lead to big revelations and world-changing innovations.

At the DFW Airport challenge, employees from across the airport formed 11 teams that competed to identify problems and find solutions for waste at the workplace.  

More than 30,000 tons of waste, from plastic to glass to cardboard, is hauled away from DFW Airport each year. The airport committed to reducing this by 15% by year’s end. Its ultimate goal?  Getting to “zero waste” via a 90% diversion from landfills, incinerators, or other environmental polluters.

You can find out more about the competition by reading our story.

For more of who said what about all things North Texas, check out Every Last Word.

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