Waste reduction: Just what the doctor ordered

Will Simpson learns how Barts, the largest NHS trust in the UK, has been leading the way when it comes to waste reduction and recycling. 

This article was taken from Issue 82

The media is often full of stories about the need for the NHS to save money. Usually, this is seen in pejorative terms – the detrimental effects such savings have on frontline services. But one trust, Barts in Central London, has saved £700,000 by implementing an imaginative waste and recycling strategy that has gone further than any previous programme in the NHS.

The figures are certainly impressive. Since the trust entered into a partnership with Skanska in 2011, Barts has managed to divert over 4,000 tonnes of waste from landfill, reduced clinical waste by 20 per cent and improved recycling rates by 400 per cent. Those changes have not gone unrecognised either – in 2013, Barts became the first health care trust to win the Carbon Trust Waste Standard.