Waste Management

Reducing Waste, Reducing Cost

The UK construction industry waste challenge

The UK construction industry produces around 120 million tonnes of waste per year of which 20 million tonnes are sent to landfill unused (WRAP). Due to the large amount of waste generated by the industry the UK government has identified that reducing the volume of waste produced and disposed of needs to be significantly improved to conserve our natural resources and prevent damage to our environment. A study by WRAP also demonstrates that a reduction of waste by five million tonnes over four years generated £400 million of savings to the industry. To meet the current UK waste challenge the government is aiming for zero waste to landfill by 2020 and all organisations, including Network Rail, has a role to play in delivering this.

Reducing waste in Network Rail Infrastructure Projects

Infrastructure Projects (IP) is delivering the biggest investment in the railway since the Victorian era. All our work from designing and building iconic new stations, signalling upgrades, electrification, track renewals and bridges produces waste. The waste we produce has a significant impact on both our environment and the costs to our business. Over 2015 to 2016 IP alone produced approximately 2.3 million tonnes of waste and diverted on average 75% of all waste produced from landfill. With landfill tax rates at £84.40 per tonne it makes good business sense to reduce the amount of waste we produce and dispose.

To support the industry and reduce our environmental impact and costs to the business, Network Rail Infrastructure Projects has committed to lead the industry in achieving zero waste to landfill by 2019.

The following sustainability best practice case studies set out how Thameslink Programme has reduced waste and reduced cost to support the zero waste to landfill challenge.

Waste and resources figures from the London Bridge Station Redevelopment project

Total m3 of waste produced (from start of project to March 2018) 482,048
Total m3 of waste diverted from landfill (from start of project to March 2018) 479,047
Total landfill diversion rate (from start of project to March 2018) 99.4%
Total tonnes of carbon produced (from start of project to March 2018)

Construction carbon savings (tCO2e)

Embodied carbon savings (tCO2e)

Annual operational carbon savings (tCO2e)





Total m3 of water used (from start of project to March 2018)

Total m3 water saved during construction



Case Studies

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: 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: Railway Systems

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

Designing Out Waste: Stations and Civils

Reviewing the identified actions undertaken to reduce waste during design and construction of all major Thameslink Programme station and civils projects.

Sustainable Construction: London Bridge Station

How a collaborative approach between Network Rail and Costain encouraged a sustainability ‘blueprint for delivery of major complex projects’

Western Approach Viaduct

This case study looks at London Bridge station's significant structural and track changes that were required in the area of the western approaches.

Waste Management Documents