We signed up to a new initiative called Pathway to Zero Waste in a bid to halve the amount of waste we send to landfill from construction, demolition and excavation schemes by 2012.
The initiative was incorporated into key schemes, including three wastewater treatment works upgrades and six water disinfection schemes, in addition to on-going recycling in smaller projects.
As a result, we are recycling and re-using more building materials or exchanging them with other construction companies.
The construction of our new wastewater treatment works at Peacehaven in Sussex involves excavating 240,000 cubic meters of soil, enough to fill 96 Olympic size swimming pools.
However, the soil will be re-used on the site for landscaping and we are also employing the latest GPS technology on our excavators to make sure we only remove the minimum amount.
The increased use of sludge treatment centres at our wastewater works has also significantly reduced the amount of sludge taken to landfill. Sludge is solid matter produced during wastewater treatment and is ‘digested’ in large tanks by bacteria to break it down before being turned into fertiliser granules for farmland.
We increased the use of our sludge treatment centres and recycled 99.96 per cent of sludge, significantly reducing the amount taken to landfill. We took no sludge to landfill between May 2009 and February 2010.