‘Wheelie’ serious about recycling: Northern now segregating waste into 33 different categories as part of 2024 environmental mission

Northern is now segregating waste products across its operations into 33 different specialist categories.

The train operator – which manages 467 of the stations on its network, has five ‘TrainCare Centre’ depots across the region and has support staff in multiple office locations across the North of England – already re-uses or re-cycles 70% of all waste generated by its operations.

The 33 different categories are:

1. Dry mixed recycling 12. Oil contaminated materials 23. Fluorescent tubes
2. General waste 13. Oil filters 24. Bio waste
3. Paper 14. Paints 25. Bio-hazard sharps
4. Cardboard 15. Empty plastic containers 26. Hoses
5. Wood 16. Aerosols 27. E-cigarettes
6. Glass 17. Small plastic tubes 28. Train lead acid batteries
7. Metals 18. Under frame cleaning drums 29. Portable lead acid batteries
8. Brake blocks 19. Intermediate bulk containers and drums 30. Carbon zinc batteries
9. Brake pads 20. Grease 31. Lithium-ion batteries
10. PPE and uniforms 21. Waste electrical and electronic equipment 32. Nickel-cadmium batteries
11. Coffee cups 22. LED tubes 33. Alkaline batteries

Mike Roe, safety and environment director at Northern, said: “Eliminating waste is always our primary objective – but when that’s not possible, we aim to re-use or recycle as much as we can.

“The 33 different recycling strands now in-use throughout our business allows everyone across our near 7,000-strong workforce to play their part in support of our environmental mission.”

In 2022-23, Northern processed 6,458 tonnes of waste. Of that, 2,670 tonnes were recycled, 1,996 tonnes were re-used, 1,660 tonnes were incinerated (generating energy from waste) and just 132 tonnes went to landfill.

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