Kettering General Hospital and EcoWasteXchange

WasteMaster overcomes hospital’s challenges caused by food waste

Kettering General Hospital, a district hospital serving the areas of Leicestershire and Northamptonshire, is using the WasteMaster on-site food waste conversion system to greatly reduce the environmental impact of its food waste.

Foodwaste at Kettering General HospitalCaring for over 371,000 patients per year with a staff of 3,300, Kettering General Hospital has 600 beds and serves around 1500 meals daily. Food waste is generated from food preparation and returned food from wards after meal times. Though every effort is made to minimise the volume of food waste generated, the hospital still has a lot of waste that must be disposed of in a timely manner to maximise the health and safety on its site.

Kettering General Hospital recognises its social, economic and environmental impacts on the local community, and is committed to acting with responsibility in each of these areas.

The hospital’s Waste and Sustainability Manager, Robin Packman, was keen to reduce both the burden of food waste on the Environment and the financial impact on the hospital. Robin explained: “Our food waste was previously disposed of in the kitchen area through a maceration system. However, this used a considerable amount of water to process the waste and then flush it into the drains. These frequently blocked and as well as this being costly in staff time, the maceration also placed a strain on the sewage system, contributing to waste blockages.”

Given the challenges caused by the maceration system, Robin was receptive to finding an alternative efficient solution that would improve the environmental and practical performance of the hospital’s food waste processing system.

The WasteMaster was easily installed in a convenient area at the hospital, without the need for plumbing or other services, just a three-phase power supply and an air outlet. WasteMaster accelerates the decomposition of food and organic waste, reducing its volume by up to 80 per cent and converting it into an odourless, compost-like, high calorific-value residue in less than 24 hours, without introducing additives or water and without discharging the residual material into sewers or watercourses.

Robin reports that WasteMaster’s diagnostic reporting system has confirmed the actual rather than estimated volume of food waste being produced at the hospital and initial calculations showed a 35% reduction in costs. In addition, Robin estimates that WasteMaster has reduced the hospital’s water consumption by 11,650 litres over a three-month period and forecasts that savings of over £45,000 will be made in drain and sewage and other areas over the contract period. Moreover Robin, says: “In a single year, WasteMaster will have reduced the hospital’s food waste volume by 50 tonnes after processing and water consumption by 69,888 litres.”

By converting food waste on site in this way and diverting it from landfill, around 3.2 tonnes of landfill gases are prevented for every two tonnes of food waste fed into the machine. The residual also has a further use for purposes such as green energy through anaerobic digestion, conserving valuable resources.