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 5 million tonnes over 4 years generated £400million 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 (NR), 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.