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Cable collection & reuse

Cable collection & reuse

Find out about how we’re reusing our fibre cable.


There are about 186,000 kilometres of cable in the Virgin Media network. That’s enough to wrap around the world more than three times. To help make the way we use all this cable more efficient, we’ve been trialling a cable collection and recycling program. This scheme offers our engineers the chance to get rid of any old or excess fibre cable, instead of it just gathering dust in our yards. Because as you can see, some of our sites get quite full with leftover cable drums…

With a little help from our partners at Kuehne & Nagel, who have all the right tools for the job, we can collect the leftover cables and drums and get them back to our Big Red Shed in Wellingborough.

Once there, we try and reuse as much as possible. Not only does this offer cost savings, but it also reduces the environmental impact associated with transporting and manufacturing new fibre cables. So far, we’ve collected around 53km of cable from four collection trials around the UK. About 17km of cable has been earmarked for reuse in our network. The remaining 36 km of fibre cable is either faulty or not suitable for reuse and so cannot be recycled. However, we are working closely with our manufacturing and recycling partners to investigate other end of life solutions such as stripping down the component parts for recycling and recovering the energy from the waste cables through incineration.