A partnership approach with Barratt London


Upton Gardens is a new development from leading homebuilder, Barratt London, on the former site of West Ham’s iconic football stadium – Upton Park.

One of London’s largest residential developments, Upton Gardens is a 3-year project to build 842 apartments within 14 blocks, featuring open green spaces, rooftop terraces, landscaped walkways and public art. On site amenities include a residents’ gym, concierge service, car club, rooftop terraces and family play areas, as well as a proposed café and community space. The Reconomy Group has been the preferred supplier of waste services to Barratt London and its co-consumer brand Barratt Homes for over 10 years. Key to The Reconomy Group retaining its status as Barratt London and Barratt Homes’ preferred waste partner has been its ability to add value over many years as the relationship between the two companies has evolved. This partnership approach meant that we have been heavily involved in the development of a tailored waste management strategy deployed at the Upton Garden’s site.

Environmental value

Segregation. Upton Gardens is an apartment development and so, as part of our waste strategy, the site has implemented the use of wheelie bins to collect waste from ‘at-height’ levels where work is being undertaken. The wheelie bins are then taken to a central waste compound established by The Reconomy Group, where materials are segregated for reuse and recycling. Across the site, materials are segregated into 5 core waste streams – light compactable waste, timber, plasterboard, inert (brick and block) and metal. When correct segregation processes and training are put in place, day-to- day construction produces very little ‘general waste’, which is mainly limited to sweepings and canteen waste.

Given the financial and environmental value of the other waste streams, the objective has been to minimise the light compactable waste, which is the most expensive to manage. This has been achieved by segregating as much waste as possible and keeping other recyclable waste out of the regular compactor collections, reducing the frequency of their collections.

Onsite team. Given the scale of the Upton Gardens development, the decision was taken to deploy an on-site Waste Logistics Team, including a full time Site Supervisor, who was responsible for 4 waste and recycling operatives. All members of the team are employed by Reconomy via RMF Fresh Start Recruitment. The Team has been continually on-hand to give advice, identify and correct misuse of the recycling services and help prevent waste from being generated. They have also played an important role in reducing contamination and improving the quality of the recyclate collected. The Site Supervisor works closely with the Barratt London team and third-party trades. Daily duties include attending the site logistics meeting and walking the blocks to ensure standards are maintained. If trades are found not to have adhered to on-site recycling practices, a ‘clear up notice’ is issued to them. If the problem is not addressed, The Reconomy Group team will clear it up and pass on their details to the Upton Gardens Management Team to recharge.

Waste minimisation. Having ‘boots on the ground’ means we are directly able to prevent waste arising. For example, if a tiler has half a box of tiles left at the end of a job, these would generally have been discarded in an inert waste container. Our team will instead collect these tiles and take them back to the material compound, so they can be used in another part of the site.

Business value

Performance levels. Our experience of sustainably managing construction waste, coupled with effective on- site recycling processes and a fulltime site presence, has enabled Barratt London to realise a 15% reduction in the tonnage of waste produced on site. This reduction is reflected in the project’s overall waste management costs.

Training and management. We maintain a strong relationship with Barratt London on several levels. A dedicated Site Liaison Officer attends the site at least once a week and meets with the Site Supervisor and Barratt London representatives. As with all new projects, Reconomy provides comprehensive training at the start of the build. This is then reinforced with regular toolbox talks throughout the lifecycle of the project. Further training and guidance are also regularly provided by the on-site Waste Logistics team. The success of the team and the glowing feedback they have received from the Site Manager and Barratt London has meant that we now hope to extend this partnership across more sites and customers. There is also the potential to offer permanent positions to Fresh Start candidates within the wider team. The consistency of performance is also enabling The Reconomy Group to provide Barratt London with an ‘all-in’ cost on a block- by-block basis, significantly reducing administrative burden and paperwork.

The Upton Gardens project is on-course to achieve 97% landfill diversion, preventing valuable resources from being lost forever and helping to control costs. The site’s high segregation rate also means that more materials can be reused and recycled, helping to optimise environmental and financial performance and support the development of a more circular economy. To watch a short video about Reconomy Fresh Start at Upton Gardens click here.

Social value

Fresh Start. As part of its industry-leading and award-winning RSVP programme, The Reconomy Group is committed to socially inclusive recruitment and breaking barriers to employment for hard-to-reach groups. The on-site Waste Logistics Team at Upton Gardens was employed exclusively through our partnership with RMF Fresh Start, which offers training and recruitment to offenders in 16 prisons nationwide. Whilst still in prison, the Fresh Start recruits were given all the training required to work on a construction site, including CSCS, site safety and manual handling. They were also provided with specific waste management training, including the importance of segregation and legal requirements. Practical ‘on the job’ training was then provided when they started work on the Upton Gardens site.