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Trust in collaboration introduces a project for waste prevention via donation or renovation, diverting 133 tonnes from bulk waste containers

Challenge

    • According to the Waste Management Team, many unwanted items ending up in the bulk waste containers were perfectly reusable following repair or renovation
    • Bring about a behavioral change among the workforce towards bulk item disposal

Action

    • Collaborated with Globechain- an online reuse platform, and Premier Sustain- a service which remanufactures, refurbishes and repairs furnishings, to reduce bulk item waste
    • Items typically donated or renovated include wheelchairs, hospital beds, examination couches, crutches, walking frames, metal trolleys, medical supplies etc

Result

    • As per Globechain stats, 8502 items were listed and 7004 items donated since inception up to 31st Dec 2017
    • 83% of listed items were collected by registered users, diverting 133 tonnes from bulk waste containers
    • Used 90 less bulk waste containers, saving over £15k from disposal processes
    • Avoided over 100 tonnes of CO2 emissions

Challenges:

Barts Heath NHS Trust’s Waste Management Team [a working partnership with Skanska’s Waste Contracted Management Service] wanted to reduce bulk item waste and reduce cost; in doing so, heighten the profile of our efforts in achieving this goal.

With the Waste Management Team’s [WMT] initial engagement with Globechain and Premier Sustains expertise, we successfully implemented our project with buy in from Senior Trust Managers, FM Managers, waste portering teams and supervisors. Our aim was to affect the behavioral change of the Trust workforce towards bulk item disposal, involve local community / social projects and people working with charitable causes.

Actions:

In July 2013, the WMT investigated ways of reducing unwanted bulk waste items being disposed of to the five hospital sites bulk waste containers, via cost effective, ethical routes; reducing carbon emissions and attaining the highest strata within the waste hierarchy - “waste prevention”.

The NHS’s business is making people healthy; we have the highest obligation to adhere to our corporate and social responsibility commitments, in achieving this. The WMT concluded that many unwanted items ending up in our bulk waste containers were perfectly reusable, but not by the Trust; or reusable by the Trust, following repair or renovation.

After presenting toTrust Directors [Procurement, Facilities, Estates] and receiving their buy in from trial successes with portering teams, Facilities managers and staff, we moved forward with Globechain, an online reuse platform; and Premier Sustain - an award winning service, dedicated to remanufacturing, refurbishing andrepairing furnishings to near new standards. We continue to prove that waste prevention, via donation or renovation, is wholly sustainable, reducing disposal costs, increasing social value, improving fabric via product reuse, engagement with our community we serve and reducing carbon emissions to our local population.

Typical items donated or renovated have been wheelchairs, hospital beds, examination couches, crutches, walking frames, metal trolleys, medical supplies, sofa and seating arrangements, chairs, desksand tables.

Globechain stats

• Since inception and up to 31 12 2017, 8502 items listed and 7004 items donated.

• 83% of listed items collected by registered users, diverting 133 tonnes from our bulk waste containers, to date.

• Benefited 450 communities; helping 5,500 people.

• Donations helped rebuild healthcare in Sierra Leone and Guinea disaster recovery areas affected by 2014’s Ebola outbreak; equipped a Libyan physical rehabilitation centre for disabled, poor and elderly; aided schools in Kenya. Supported local schools and community projects in East London.

Premier Sustain stats

• Since inception and up to 31 12 2017 - at less than half the cost of purchasing new; using money from bulk waste container savings:

o Reduced procurement purchases by over £90,000.

o Used 90 less bulk waste containers, saving over £15,000 from disposal processes.

• Over 100 tonnes of CO2 emissions avoidance.

• Salvaged over 2000 pieces of damaged furnishings from waste; over 75% of it repaired, recovered or reformed.

Over 1000 furnishings returned, back in use, creating positive impacts for hundreds of staff; and benefiting thousands of patients and visitors improved seating arrangements, giving these items newlong lives.

Results:

We have heightened the profile, value and status of the E&F Directorate; since 2016, delivering £100,000 of savings; year on year.

• Johura Begum, Assistant Service Manager: “Can’t believe it! 50 chairs looking brand new for ourpatients. If this is the standard of reclaimation, let’s please stop throwing it away! I tell everyone aboutyour team’s great efforts”.

• Anish Modgil, Informatics Manager: “We received 35 reconditioned office chairs for our new ICTCommand Centre. They look and feel brand new. Combining this service, so we pass on redundant itemsto charity, instead of throwing away, just makes us feel better”.

Spread:

Previous to project role out, both Globechain and Premier Sustains pioneering companies were both new to the NHS; the WMT at Barts Health have been proud to have collaboratively worked on this project with them and made it the success it is. Barts Health, working in partnership with Skanska’s waste contracted service [WMT] has allowed us both to pride ourselves in a great team effort, having created further partnership innovations; opening up opportunities for the NHS to benefit further from our leap of faith. Other Trusts, on our success, are engaging with, and being introduced to these proven service providers.

Key individuals

Neil Allen