Crossrail construction project approaches zero waste

Crossrail has surpassed initial construction recycling targets to achieve a 98% rate for site clearance at the eastern running tunnels section of its landmark rail project.

Crossrail’s contractor, McGrath Group, has guaranteed zero waste to landfill at the site and is currently recycling 100% of all wood, tyres and general waste at Limmo Peninsula with the help of joint-venture contractor Dragados-Sisk.

The worksite, which is located off the Lower Lea Crossing at Canning Town, has achieved a sustainability ‘exemplar’ level from WRAP. All types of end-use tyres are segregated de-rimmed and the rubber is shredded for use in equestrian arenas, playgrounds and as civil engineering in-fill.

The metal rims and wires are recycled separately. Timber re-processing involves removal of contaminants prior to the shredding of the wood, which is either re-constituted as wood-chip for the building trade, as horticultural mulch or animal bedding or processed using waste-to-energy technology.

McGrath has supplied skips which are labelled to enable operatives to segregate the waste materials at Limmo Peninsular prior to transportation to the MRF. So far over 100,000 tonnes of material has been removed from the derelict site including contaminated hotspots.

Dragados-Sisk’s waste manager, Alan Young, said: “McGrath’s ability to recycle all of the tyre, timber and general waste has been a major factor in enabling us to exceed our targets and achieve the exemplar level.

“Their recycling facilities are also located less than five miles from site which helps reduce transport time and fuel thereby helping to reduce the project’s carbon footprint.”

In April 2008 McGrath received £600,000 of funding from WRAP’s capital support programme to develop new technology to re-process rubber and timber materials at its MRF in Barking, Essex.

Crossrail will be Europe’s largest infrastructure project and will boost London’s rail capacity by 10%, running a total of 118km from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, through London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

Maxine Perella

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