Recycling in Focus: Green Champions #2
Isle of Wight NHS Trust
St. Mary’s hospital on the Isle of Wight has taken a big step towards implementing a green initiative which was started by the Island’s NHS Trust. The Friends of the Hospital have donated over £2,500 towards buying 16 recycling bins for the public areas of the hospital. The new bins are designed to have a section for mixed recycling on one side and general waste on the other.
The Trust’s vision is to offer healthcare services with a focus on being environmentally sustainable. The recycling scheme will eventually be rolled out trust wide, to offices and clinical areas. The Trust already actively recycles a wide variety of materials, including cardboard, batteries, scrap metal, printer cartridges, confidential waste paper and garden waste.
In 2013, the Trust was awarded the NHS Sustainability Day Best Waste and Recycling Initiative. The Trust aims to reduce its carbon footprint, environmental impact and save money which can be given to patient care.
What do they do?
The Trust has a designated Environmental, Waste and Sustainability Manager. This helps the Trust to coordinate the scheme across all departments and services. The focus of the green scheme is centred on 3 key areas:
The Trust has launched a ‘Switch it Off’ campaign, designed to encourage staff and patients to take simple steps to save energy. This can be turning off lights when you leave a room, turning off equipment that’s not being used and closing doors to prevent heat from escaping. These might seem like small things, but if everyone across the Trust does the same, this adds up to a considerable energy saving.
The Trust works in partnership with a specialist water company to work out how best to cut down on water consumption throughout the Trust. Water meters are fitted with automated readers which accurately reflects the total water that is being consumed, this then allows the Trust to identify where consumption needs to be reduced.
In 2014, the Trust entered a 5-year waste management contract to help them improve recycling performance. They have processes in place to recycle hazardous waste like lamps and batteries. Between 2012 and 2014/5, the Trust has doubled its waste recycling rate and is recognised nationally as an example of good practice in waste management.
Being green makes good business sense
At a time when many public services are feeling the pinch of budget cuts, it’s more important than ever to find ways to save money, so that it can be spent on essential services. The Trust has formed a waste management group which will be responsible for ongoing waste strategies and they are hoping to improve their recycling rates year upon year. Recycling doesn’t only benefit the environment, it makes good business sense as it keeps costs down.