Award Winning Waste Management

At GASP we are incredibly luck to have Neil Allen on our team. He is the Waste & Environment Manager at Barts Health NHS Trust. Neil runs a fantastic team who coordinate and generate all things waste across the 5 sites of the one the largest NHS Trusts in the UK. Neil has been with GASP from the outset and he has taught us so much. In this section I want run through some of the incredible work Neil and his team have done leading them to win multiple awards. This is a great example of how waste can be managed.

Sustainable Reuse & Bulk Waste Prevention Project

Chairs, beds, lockers, fridges, ultrasound machines, examination couches, wheel chairs, crutches, baby cots, desks...the list goes on. All these items were being sent to the waste yard.  Some required small repairs and others were no longer required. This is a problem for two reasons. Not only is this incredibly wasteful it is incredibly costly to dispose, especially the electrical items. 

Not anymore. Broken items are not repaired and bought back into use, saving money from buying new stock, saving money from waste fees and having a significant environmental benefit. For the items no longer required the team engage with a company called Globechain who engage with local communities to see if they would like the items free of charge. 

So lets look at the numbers:

  • Globechain charges Barts Health an annual fee of £3600 to use their service.

  • Globechain uses weight data from DEFRA to identify the average weight, from an items description.

  • Average weight data allows Barts Health to calculate and multiply up the numbers of bulk waste containers that would have been needed to dispose of the items that are now donated, including reduced CO².

  • It is thanks to this that:​​

    • ​​On average Barts Health divert 60 skips /year
    • That saves £31,000/year
    • And saves 900 transportation miles/year

​​It is no wonder that this one Neil and his team the HSJ Value Award in 2018.

Exemplar Waste Compliance & Staff Behavioural Change Project

Barts Health have a waste audit team who work along side Neil to ensure waste is being managed in the most sustainable fashion. They perform check of bins and provide face to face staff training.

Have a look at what they get up to:

Reclassifying our 5 hospital sites conversion, over to the offensive waste stream; now at 71.2% saving £1.5 million, by the end of 2018.

  • Completing 560,650  bin audits and sending out 32,200  waste audit reports, identifying actions & findings.

  • Increasing waste segregation compliance to 92.2% by continual behavioral change.

  • Training 12,082 staff “face to face” with waste awareness, best practice principles and behaviours.

Neil and his team were the first in the NHS to purchase and use the Reverse Vending Company's Revending Machine winning them the Green Apple Award.

  • It encourages patients, staff and visitors to deposit their used, empty plastic drink bottles & cans, allowing us to recycle more virgin plastic and metal, separately.

  • The Revending machine incentivises the depositor / user with a money off voucher, discounting the purchase of their next cup of tea or coffee, in our restaurants.

  • Crushes / compacts bottles and cans, so the machine can hold huge quantities, before emptying.

This inspired the team to look further at how this technology could be used elsewhere in the trust. Their search bought them to the trust dialysis units.

Each day, for 6 days, an average  they produced 200 empty x 6 litre HDPE bottles which were bagged up, for frequent collection and disposal. That’s 1,200 a week! 62,400 per year! Wasting time / wasting bags / wasting virgin plastics Impacting on housekeepers, porters, resources and costs.

Cue the Renal Revending Machine! Another 1st for Barts Health!

Lets have a look at the numbers on this one:

  • 80% of plastic bottles now deposited in these machines across the trust.

  • Eliminates 20 waste bags/day.

  • 60% reduction in portering time.

  • All bottles recycled preventing 14 tonnes/year of virgin plastic going to a waste to energy plant.

  • 10% less skip compactor lifts/year.

"Alright Neil what else you got!?"

Back in 2012 cardboard was collecting with the normal domestic waste across all 5 sites. By 2014 3 sites started bailing the cardboard and sending it for recycling. By the end of 2018:

  • Yard staff had bailed 1028 Tonnes of cardboard for recycling.

  • This saved £191,600 from avoiding it entering domestic waste.

In 2013 Barts Health became the 1st NHS Trust to get Big Belly Bins. These are solar power bins, which compact the waste. As a result they hold 5 x more waste than a normal bin. They also tell you when they are full. They save money, prevent waste spillage and save time! Win Win Win!

And finally, in 2016 Barts Health started treating 90% of Whipps Cross Hospitals Clinical Waste onsite. It is the first time this technology was used in the UK. The yellow carts are take to the plant where they are tipped into a machine which shreds and microwaves it, rendering waste non infectious. It can they be compacted and sent to a waste to energy plant.

This scheme saved:

  • 17,000km in road miles each year

  • Reducing 375 tonnes of CO2!!

It is no wonder that Neil and his team went on to win 2019's HSJ Value Award. We are truly lucky to have Neil on our team. He really is the King of Waste!

Keep an eye on this page for more updates.

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