Overcoming the challenge of food waste in the NHS
Waste and Sustainability Manager, Robin Packman explains how using the WasteMaster on-site food waste system has greatly reduced the environmental & financial impacts of treating food waste at Kettering General Hospital
Kettering General Hospital is a busy and vibrant 600 bed NHS Trust caring for over 371,000 patients per year and serving around 1500 nutritious meals every day. The food waste generated comes from food preparation and returns from the patient meal service. Every effort is made to minimise food waste however it is difficult to predict when a patient is well enough to eat so meal provision is the priority. This unavoidable organic waste must be disposed of in a timely and appropriate manner to minimise risk to the health and safety of the operation.
Recognising the social, economic and environmental impacts, the Trusts’ Waste and Sustainability Manager, Robin Packman explains why he chose WasteMaster as the solution
“Our food waste was previously disposed of via a maceration system which fluidises the material to be flushed it into the drainage infrastructure consuming a considerable amount of water. Frequent blockages over stress a system designed for sewage resulting in costly deep clearance and takes up a great deal of staff time. Blockages and breakdown can result in a risk of backlog of putrescible waste which is unacceptable to the Trust.”
Given the challenges & risks presented by maceration, the Trust tasked Robin with finding a sustainable alternative to food waste disposal at Kettering General and WasteMaster from EcoWasteXchange was chosen as the preferred solution.
WasteMaster accelerates the natural decomposition of food/organic waste reducing it by up to 80% into an inert, odourless residue that requires no additives, no water and has no discharge to the drainage. The resultant material is a high-calorific contributor to the generation of sustainable Green Energy via Anaerobic Digestion (AD)
Converting on site via the WasteMaster eliminates the water consumption and drainage related costs experienced in macerating food waste and provides a sustainable, practical method of Green Energy generation via AD. Kettering General NHS Foundation Trust objectives met, Robin reports that:
“Installing WasteMaster will have reduced the hospital’s water consumption by almost half a million litres and went on to forecast additional savings of over £20,000 a year.”
WasteMasters’ intelligent PLC system records process volumes providing detailed analysis of waste generation for reporting environmental performance via a desktop portal to ERIC, a vital tool in monitoring performance and keeping on top of the waste minimisation objectives set by the NHS.