Designing Out Waste

Reducing waste, reducing cost in the design and construction of stations and civils

All our major station and civils projects such as Blackfriars, Farringdon, London Bridge and Bermondsey Dive Under identified actions to reduce waste during design and construction.

Specific actions included:

Modular and pre-fabrication

At Blackfriars and London Bridge we used modular and pre-fabricated components for bridge decks, platforms units, lifts, escalators and station furniture and standardised components for station glazing. Modular and pre fabrication reduces material use and waste, reduces risk of pollution, minimises impacts on our neighbours through quieter construction and less road congestion from deliveries. It also provided a number of economic benefits such as improved product quality, reduced installation programme, reduced materials double handling and improved site logistics.

Reducing packaging

At Farringdon we arranged for our PPE suppliers to remove packaging from all our orders and take back pallets and at Borough Viaduct we recycled hard hats thus reducing waste to landfill, costs and saving space on site.

Re-use of demolition materials

At Farringdon we re-used on site demolition materials for the construction of the piling mat and delivery ramp. This reduced the need to import 8,500 tonnes of material to site saving £70,000 and removed 850 lorries from congested London roads, reducing CO2 emissions by 30 tonnes and minimising disruption to our neighbours. At London Bridge we crushed insert waste arising’s throughout the demolition works for re-use within the stations and at neighbouring TLP projects such as Bermondsey Dive Under to reduce disposal.

Recycling hazardous waste

Hazardous waste is typically disposed of to landfill however Thameslink Programme always looked for ways to avoid sending waste to landfill. At Borough Viaduct we used high density polystyrene as lightweight fill for the vaults so we agreed with the supplier to take the polystyrene back for re-manufacturing into insulation products thus reducing waste, carbon emissions, impacts from transportation and cost. At Farringdon and London Bridge we recycled aerosols through a specialist Aerosol Piercing Unit enabling aerosol cans to be recycled like any other metal thus diverting waste from landfill.

Recycling plasterboard

At London Bridge we used plasterboard to fit out the station accommodation, which is a difficult material to dispose of as all gypsum based wastes must be disposed of to landfill thus increasing our impacts and costs. By working with our suppliers we were able to return our plasterboard waste products for recycling and reuse into a variety of products that are sold again to construction projects. To date we have saved over £6,000 in landfill costs.

Segregating waste

All our projects segregated waste on site as part of standard activities, however for complex and space constrained sites we maximised off-site segregation and recycling. At London Bridge we used dedicated off-site storage areas for storage of construction materials supported by just in time deliveries to reduce volume of material held on site. This was supported by returning surplus materials to the storage area for reuse during construction.

Recycling soils

200,000 tonnes of excavated soils at London Bridge were tested and segregated on site into inert, hazardous, non-hazardous and special non-hazardous waste to prevent mixing of waste and costly waste disposal to landfill. All soils were treated at a soil treatment facility according to their type, for example through soil stabilisation or bioremediation. Treated soils were then transported along the River Thames by barge and incorporated into other land reclamation projects. The project successfully reused 100% of non-hazardous and hazardous waste. Each barge carrying 1000 tonnes removed 50 lorries from congested London roads and reduced carbon emissions by 60%.

Further information

For more information on this Learning Legacy case study please email

Case studies

Designing Out Waste: Thameslink Programme

How Thameslink Programme used its power as client to set and raise the performance of the programme and its supply chain to reduce waste.

Designing Out Waste: London Bridge station

Collaboratively challenging the design and construction process to reduce waste during the redevelopment of London Bridge station.

Designing Out Waste: Railway Systems

Reviewing the specific actions undertaken for Railway Systems projects to reduce waste in design and construction.

CEEQUAL: Farringdon station

How CEEQUAL helped both measure and drive sustainability performance during the redevelopment of Farringdon station.

CEEQUAL: London Bridge station

This CEEQUAL case study assesses how sustainability was integrated into the design and construction of London Bridge station.