Sustainability 26 April 2019

Sustainable Waste Management: Kettering Electric Stablings

Construction, demolition and refurbishment accounts for around 100 million tonnes of waste in the UK each year, according to BRE. When the team working on the electrification of the Midland Main Line found that they had to remove 26,000 tonnes of material from a site in Kettering before construction could begin, they took a more sustainable approach to waste management. As a result, they diverted 100% of waste from landfill and saved money.

Benefits at a Glance:

  • 100% diversion from landfill of 26,000 tonnes of spoil
  • Reduced carbon emissions
  • Use of local company

The Kettering Electric Stablings (KES) project involved the construction of appropriate stabling and Controlled Emissions Toilets (CET) facilities for up to four 12 carriage electric trains, due to enter into service on March 2020. KES was critical to enable electric trains to run between London and Corby.

The project team inherited a site that had been littered with discarded material over several years. Their first step was collect, segregate and dispose of this material using a licensed waste contractor.

A local contractor was chosen to remove the spoil for a more sustainable approach to waste management.


  • The waste facility for the local company was less than a mile and a half from the KES site, resulting in fewer lorries hauling material off site and a shorter journey between the site and the recycling facility. This helped to lower the total embodied carbon of the spoil removal process almost tenfold
  • The local contractor cleaned and filtered the granular material taken off site and reused it in construction activities such as drainage pipe bedding. The clay material taken off site was stockpiled and will be used on projects in the local area to provide noise bunding (i.e. to contain noise) or environmental features such as an embankment on a golf course. This has contributed to 100% diversion from landfill exceeding the Network Rail target of 95%.


Lessons Learned/Best Practice

  • Embedding sustainability into an effective waste management policy to reduce the impact of construction waste
  • Sustainability must be regarded as a core business process. On the Midland Main Line programme, there is a team dedicated to sustainable practices, drawn from Network Rail and its supply chain partners


Further Reading:

Midland Mainline programme sustainability strategy



Work to clear spoil at Kettering electric stablings