One of the North West’s busiest hospitals is celebrating the success of a major healthcare waste management programme.
Aintree University Hospital in Liverpool has worked in partnership with B&M Waste Services to reduce its environmental impact and improve efficiency.
Merseyside-headquartered B&M was initially brought in by the hospital to manage its general waste, but the company’s remit was soon extended to cover clinical and offensive waste segregation and disposal.
Working closely with hospital management, B&M helped design a bespoke waste compound and deployed the latest compactor technology. B&M also installed 450 bins at Aintree, introduced a confidential document shredding service and a dedicated battery collection and recycling service.
B&M also provided more than 500 of the hospital’s domestic and clinical staff with comprehensive training in the waste segregation system.
As a result of the healthcare waste management partnership with B&M, Aintree University Hospital has reduced clinical waste output by over 28 tonnes a month, while around 300 tonnes of offensive waste – otherwise known as Tiger Bag waste – is collected annually and sent to landfill sites where the methane produced is captured and re-used to generate electricity.
The introduction of the offensive waste stream has not only had the effect of reducing clinical waste output by nearly two thirds, but also due to the success of the staff training, general waste has increased and over 80% of this was recycled in 2013. Before the partnership with B&M, all of this waste was being sent direct to landfill.
Due to segregation and the use of an on-site baler – one of only a handful of NHS Trusts in the UK to operate such a system – 165 tonnes of cardboard was recycled last year, compared to none before 2011. A further 55 tonnes of mixed metals, paper and plastic – stored in a dedicated 35-yard Ro-Ro in the waste compound – have been collected in the past year, achieving 100% diversion from landfill.
Michael Morgan, Facilities Manager at Aintree University Hospital, said: “The partnership with B&M has helped reduce our impact on the environment and improve efficiency. The bespoke waste compound is fantastic and an example to other NHS Trusts.
“The key to the success of our offensive waste and recycling programme has been the close working relationship with B&M. The response from our staff has been fantastic and this is in no small way down to the hard work B&M put in from implementation and training to collection and disposal.
“By working with B&M we know that we are taking advantage of the latest waste innovations and we are committed to further improving our waste management performance.”
A report in 2011 by the Royal College of Nursing highlighted how the NHS could save £5.5million annually if hospital waste was correctly classified and segregated. This has been more recently concurred by the HT07 Guidance Document that hospitals most consult in relation to their waste management.
Rose Warnock, of B&M Waste Services, said: “Aintree have been 100 per cent committed to the waste management programme from the very beginning and a number of the initiatives we have undertaken in partnership with the hospital have been industry leading in the healthcare sector.
“The hospital has come a long way in a relatively short space of time and their approach is rightly seen as an example of best practice in the NHS.”
Aintree University Hospital serves a population of around 330,000 residents in North Liverpool, Sefton and Kirkby. With 19 operating theatres, the hospital carried out more than 20,000 operations in 2013.