One of the North West’s busiest hospitals, Aintree Hospital becomes industry leader in its approach to waste management and recycling.
Aintree University Hospital serves a population of around 333,000 in North Liverpool, Sefton and Kirby. As a teaching hospital, Aintree offers specialist services with a world class reputation to a population of 1.5million residents across the North West. Aintree has 19 operating theatres and in 2013, carried out more than 20,000 operations.
B&M Waste Services has been providing waste management services to the hospital since 2010 – when it began managing the hospital’s general waste programme.
In 2011, The Royal College of Nursing issued a report which talked about the potential savings to the NHS if hospital waste is classified and segregated correctly. The report projected a total annual saving of £5.5 million to the NHS.
Following the report, Aintree approached B&M to undertake an audit of the hospital’s clinical and offensive waste segregation and disposal.
Working in partnership with the hospital’s General Manager, Site Facilities Manager and the Infection Prevention Control (IPC) team, B&M reviewed the hospital’s procedures, with the aim being to make significant cost savings and improve the hospital’s environmental performance.
B&M’s report determined that Aintree was disposing of all of its offensive waste into clinical waste and sending this to incineration and autoclaving, at a significant cost.
Following the audit, B&M carried out a full risk assessment and produced method statements for all procedures. This method statement covers the detail of disposal of offensive waste from the moment it is put in a bin through to it leaving the site. By introducing a clear segregation system both parties sought to substantially improve both the environmental and financial performance of the hospital.
B&M assisted in the design of a bespoke waste compound in accordance with Aintree’s requirements. B&M deployed new compactor technology – installing a compactor for general waste and a compactor for offensive waste. B&M Waste also installed 450 wheelie bins in Aintree.
In 2013 B&M introduced a confidential document shredding service. Over 160 lockable discreet cabinets specifically for holding confidential documents were put in place around the site. B&M’s team of operatives who collect the confidential waste are vetted for up to five years in accordance with BS7858, with full advanced CRB checks and screening. The service is accredited to British Security Industry Association (BSIA) standards and a Certificate of Destruction is provided by email after every shred, and all shredded material is 100% recycled.
B&M also provides a dedicated battery collection and recycling service, with small containers kept in offices and reception desks, and these can be emptied into large containers that are kept in a locked cupboard for storing until collection.
Changing the Culture
B&M held a number of training days for Aintree staff to learn about the new waste segregation system involving over 500 of the hospital’s domestic and clinical staff.
Copies of the training presentation were distributed across the hospital and a presentation was also uploaded onto Aintree’s intranet and publicised in their monthly magazine to help with the induction of new staff. The interactive presentation allowed staff to understand the new system and raise any questions they had. Aintree staff who attended the training were given an information card outlining the three waste streams; offensive, infectious and domestic. This, along with posters and information on Aintree’s intranet, helped staff know what they needed to do even before the new waste disposal systems were rolled out.
Previously, Aintree’s porters were responsible for handling the waste before it left the site.
Following the installation of the new waste compound, Aintree employed two on-site waste operatives in full time positions. In 2013 this was doubled to four full time waste operatives due to the increase in segregated waste streams coming out of the site.
A B&M driver spotted the opportunity to recycle more cardboard, noticing the large amount that was being collected. As a result of this, a cardboard baler was installed at AUH allowing for greater quantities of cardboard to be recycled and providing rebates for the hospital.
The Results and Continuous Improvement
As a result of the segregation method, clinical waste output has been reduced by over 28 tonnes per month.
This waste has avoided the costly and environmentally damaging process of incineration.
The offensive waste is now sent to landfill sites where the methane produced by the waste is captured and reused to generate electricity, helping to control energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Over 300 tonnes of offensive waste were collected in 2012 and 2013 respectively and this year the figure will be in excess of 350 tonnes. Clinical waste output has been reduced by more than a third, with subsequent bin collections down 50%. Black bin bag waste currently stands at 828 tonnes per annum – or 70 tonnes a month – which is taken to B&M’s £1million Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) facility in Trafford Park, achieving 100% recovery figures.
Due to segregation and use of the on-site baler, the recycling of cardboard increased to 180 tonnes in 2014 compared to 26 tonnes in 2011, and no recycling before then. A further 55 tonnes of mixed metals- which are stored in a dedicated 35-yard Ro-Ro in the waste compound and collected on request – have been collected in the last year and achieved a 100% diversion from landfill. Paper and card is also segregated, baled and 100% recycled.
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. Our 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.”
Rose Warnock, of B&M Waste Services, said: “Aintree has 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 its approach is rightly seen as an example of best practice in the NHS. This is only the beginning – in partnership with the Trust we are continually seeking to improve the results we are able to achieve, through regular audits and utilising the very latest in technological advances.”
In recognition of its success at Aintree, B&M was named Environmental Business of the Year at the prestigious Liverpool Echo Environment Awards 2014.