The waste handling equipment uses food de-watering and composting techniques as Network Rail aims to reduce waste to landfill by 60% and achieve ‘zero to landfill’ on site.

The building, which was delivered by modular building specialists Portakabin, was designed to encapsulate the site’s sustainability credentials and aesthetic appeal.

Images of trees and plants on its outside help it to blend into the surroundings and it has a sedum roof which provides extra thermal insulation, encouraging wildlife and biodiversity.

A composter handles food scraps, which account for around 60% of the Westwood site’s waste, and the by-product is used to fertilise the centre’s gardens. Another machine processes the site’s non-recyclable waste into clean ash which is flushed into the drains and acts as an effective and sustainable cleaning agent.

According to the Modular and Portable Building Association, up to 67% less energy is required to produce a modular building than a traditionally constructed facility.

The recycling advocates the Waste and Resources Action Programme, say that material waste is up to 90% less than at site based construction.

Network Rail’s operations manager for the Westwood site Mark Kelly said: “It is a very unobtrusive facility but nevertheless has become a huge attraction here. Many visitors want to take a look at it and we’ve had interest from across Network Rail and other organisations, who are keen to replicate this type of sustainable waste processing on their own sites.”

Conor McGlone

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