A new transport hub in East London will facilitate the transport of the capital’s waste out of the city by rail.
Waste manager Biffa has opened the new site at Renwick Road, near Barking, in partnership with GB Railfreight (GBRf) The company aims to transport 250,000 tonnes of waste from London every year.
Biffa is working towards transporting 50% of all its waste by rail by 2025. Since it launched its strategic partnership with GBRf in 2018, over a million tonnes of waste have been transported by rail, saving more than one million tonnes of CO₂ equivalent emissions from reaching the atmosphere.
Mick Davis, chief operating officer of the Resources and Energy Division at Biffa, said: “The opening of our new rail hub marks the next step in our strategic partnership with GBRf to increase our capacity for transportation by rail. It will help us reduce dependence on vehicles on the road and reduce the emissions we produce.
“The site was totally derelict when we took it on and, amongst the rubbish and debris we cleared, we actually found some interesting items, including one and a half tonnes of World War Two bullets.”
Biffa has spent £4.2 million developing the site, removing 14,000 tonnes of previously fly-tipped waste and debris.
Renwick Road has always been a railway yard, with its earliest record dating back to 1864. It fell out of use in 1991 and has remained unused until now. Operating five trains a week, Renwick Road will transport waste from North and East London to sites at Roxby, Scunthorpe, Leeds and Manchester.
GBRf managing director John Smith commented: “We are delighted to be working with Biffa on this project and our collaboration will see us move thousands of tonnes of waste in a sustainable way.
“This is the way forward if we are to reach the net zero carbon emission target by 2050 and we look forward to continuing our partnership with Biffa in the months and years to come to ensure more waste can be removed by rail.”