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NRAs 2018: Waste Reduction Initiative - Public/Third Sector

WINNER: Network Rail Greater West Programme and Amey Inabensa

The Greater West Programme is a project funded by the Department for Transport and delivered by Network Rail as part of its railway upgrade plan. The delivery of the programme relies heavily on temporary compounds along the route, providing material and plant storage capacity, welfare facilities and access to the railway.

Many such compounds had to be created, primarily on agricultural land, each one requiring the import of up to 15,000 tonnes of aggregates and their removal for reinstatement of the land at project end.

JUDGES’ COMMENT: “This showed innovation in a traditional sector, positive behaviour change and significant environmental and cost benefits.”

Network Rail’s Sustainable Development Strategy commits to taking “a whole life approach to resource use…so that virgin material requirements and waste production are minimised.” Along with principal contractor Amey Inabensa, Network Rail applied this strategy through reuse of compounds under planning permission for change of land use obtained by the landowner; reuse of aggregates to construct and repair other compounds and access roads; reuse of aggregates by other contractors or adjoining landowners under a waste exemption or permit; and innovative construction of compounds using Geobind. This allowed the conversion of arable land into a stabilised load-bearing surface, while minimising the import of aggregates and reducing waste generation.

waste reduction initiative public third sector

waste reduction initiative public third sector

The project represents significant behavioural change in the rail industry, with imported aggregates considered an asset rather than a burden, an opportunity rather than a risk, a valuable and reusable resource rather than a disposable material.

The programme has already estimated savings of around £1m, including not having to purchase 10,000 tonnes of aggregates, as well as avoiding around 1,000 lorry movements. With around 20 compounds still to be demobilised by Amey, representing an estimated 100,000 tonnes of aggregates, there is opportunity for further reuse and savings.

The initiative is being shared across the Greater West Programme, Network Rail and Amey Inabensa for incorporation in future projects.


  • Borough Market
  • Bristol Waste Company
  • FCC Environment
  • London Borough of Ealing
  • London Borough of Waltham Forest
  • Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Newground
  • Ulster Supported Employment and Learning
  • University of Winchester

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