Recycling on the networks – a look at operators’ efforts in 2018
16th April 2018 | Recycling
Open a newspaper, turn on a TV and it’s likely you’ll find a story about green or sustainable issues. It’s become a massive issue for businesses and industries across the world and it can no longer be ignored, as the environmental, and financial costs of current working practises are realised. Our industry is no different. Probably the most visible aspect of sustainability is recycling, which needs to involve the operators, contractors, staff and the passengers alike in order to make an impact. In our complex industry external factors can also present big problems to even the most efficient recycling operation.
Just to give one example, China, which ahs been the world’s largest importer of waste, in January 2018 put severe restrictions on the variety of waste that it previously would accept, leading people to have to find different solutions to the problem.
Despite these challenges, what is clear for any business is that taking a laissez-faire attitude to one of the most important issues of the moment isn’t sustainable and demands fundamental changes in the way things have been done – coming from the top down. We’ve run a feature on recycling in the rail industry before, when we asked, “Recycling: are rail companies doing enough?” and now seems like the perfect time to revisit this crucial issue and see – two years since the first – whether things have changed.
In 2016, just four companies got back to us, but this year we received three times that, showing that the issue is one that is taken a lot more seriously than it was. What I wanted to see with this 2018 edition was how ingrained the sustainability message was in rail companies further afield and not just in the UK, so I got touch with 32 rail companies that spread across the globe – from Finland and Norway, and New Zealand and Germany to Brazil, Canada and The Netherlands.
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