Published on: Thursday, 13 July 2023
Last updated: Thursday, 13 July 2023
Above: Cambridge rail station Credit: Greater Anglia
An ’Environmental Awareness Event’ took place at Cambridge station recently (27 June) to showcase train operator Greater Anglia’s efforts to achieve zero waste to landfill and recycle more.
The operator, and its waste contractor, Veolia, have been dealing with waste in an environmentally responsible way across its entire network in East Anglia.
Every six months over 820 tonnes of waste are collected from Greater Anglia’s trains, stations, depots, and offices. This can include anything from food waste, paper cups, newspapers and even metal, wood and rubber.
Greater Anglia has its own segregation centre, based in Essex, where a lot of waste is sorted and recycled if possible.
In the last six months, Greater Anglia has diverted almost 100% of its waste from landfill sites. The operator recycles almost 60% of waste, with the rest being used for ‘energy conversion’ where the waste is incinerated to generate electricity.
At Norwich, recycling figures are as high as 96.7% and at Cambridge, over 800kgs of food waste per month are composted or used in energy recovery. Because of this and other recycling efforts, no waste from Cambridge station has been sent to landfill for the last two years.
Veolia carefully manages the routes its skip lorries take to ensure they travel the shortest possible distance when collecting the waste.
As a result, Greater Anglia has seen a reduction in carbon emissions of over 75 tonnes CO2e.
This is the equivalent of planting 257 trees or taking 28 cars off the road for a year.
Greater Anglia’s Station Cleaning & Waste Manager, Krzysztof Drozd, said:
“We are really pleased with the results so far. It is very challenging to collect and sort all the tonnes of waste from every train, 134 stations, 4 depots and numerous offices every day - and to sort it all to ensure nothing is being wasted or going to landfill unnecessarily.
"We know there is still more to do, but we are making good progress and helping the railway to become even more sustainable as we, alongside the rest of the rail industry, work towards achieving net zero by 2050.
“With our partner Veolia, we will continue to do everything we can to ensure we deal with our waste responsibly and with minimum environmental impact.”