NHS agrees to green its waste streams

The NHS has signed an agreement to develop best practice in sustainable waste management and closed loop recycling.

A memorandum of understanding was signed this week by the NHS in South East London and the capital's recycling initiative, London Remade. Three of London's NHS Trusts will also be involved in making environmental improvements to their premises between now and April 2006.

Waste advisors from London Remade will begin to work at NHS hospitals over the course of the two-year programme to implement the changes, improving their environmental performance, reducing costs and creating a best practice model for other organisations.

London Remade's market development manager, Tina Perferment, confirmed that significant changes would need to be made to current procedures at the NHS Trusts.

"Where possible we will help them with green procurement and close loop recycling practices by matching waste streams out of the NHS with recyclers and manufacturers of products they buy," she said, adding she was confident that employing better environmental practices would bring the organisation considerable financial benefits.

Objectives of the agreement include reducing the tonnage of non-clinical materials disposed of through the waste stream, initiating new contracts and introducing waste minimisation, reuse and recycling programmes for domestic and commercial rubbish.

A total waste management contract will be initiated for Primary Care Trusts, managing rubbish through segregation and reuse or recycling wherever possible for both hazardous and non-hazardous waste.

Green procurements efforts will also be built upon by matching waste streams with recyclers and manufacturers of recycle content products already being purchased.

By Jane Kettle



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