Local NHS trust committed to 50 tonne recycling target

Date: 03 December 2010

South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is introducing a new system to dispose of confidential waste that will see 50 tonnes of material recycled each year.

Following the successful trial period of the disposal of confidential waste a new system is to be rolled out Trustwide that includes shredding and recycling confidential waste.

To keep material secure locked confidential waste consoles, which are the size of a small cabinet and contains a strong material bag, have been distributed at Trust sites in Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield. The consoles are used to collect the waste which is then shredded and recycled by a specialist contractor.

This new system fits in with the Trust’s approach to sustainability as it means the 50 tonnes of confidential waste, which includes x-rays, paper, audio tapes, and memory sticks, produced by the Trust each year will all be recycled.

A new waste disposal tender is also being prepared that will include recycling for non-confidential waste such as paper, glass, plastics and tin cans. This new service is due to be implemented next year when the existing municipal waste contract ceases. The trust is also involved in the region-wide development of a clinical waste contract, set to achieve substantial savings in carbon emissions as well as expenditure for the NHS in Yorkshire and the Humber.

Recycling confidential waste is just one of the many inroads that have been made by the Trust as part of its sustainability agenda and it is keen to build on the past success of projects such as car sharing.

The Trust’s health and safety manager Roland Webb, said, "This commitment to recycle confidential waste will see a huge amount of material recycled having a big impact on the environment. This is another example of good practice that not only shows that the Trust is a forward-thinking organisation in terms of sustainability but also that we aim to inspire other organisations to take similar steps. Some of the changes that have been made so far such as car sharing are small, but often it is the small changes that can add together to make the biggest difference."