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London's hospitals take on free waste service

A free waste service that returns recycling rates of up to 89% is set to be rolled out in Londons hospitals over the next month.

Eco Recycling Solutions (ERS) has pioneered a system that provides collection bins at no cost by selling advertising space to companies that want to be seen to be green.

London-based ERS operations director Sajid Searge said: We are currently finalising the move with the [hospitals] trust in London and should have the boxes out by Christmas.

At the moment, it will just be the local hospitals, but we have spoken to a number of trusts around the country and the initiative could take off nationwide in the new year.

Companies such as Subway and Nandos advertise on the boxes, with the revenue from these helping to subsidise ERSs operations and provide an added source of income to the site where the box is placed.

Shopping centres are another prime location, with the Lakeside Shopping Centre in Essex, which has 20 million visitors a year, utilising the system.

While the Silverbox is its standard advertising bin, the company also provides talking boxes, 3D boxes providing holographic adverts and a box which gives out its message using a television screen.

The whole enterprise allows advertisers to reach out to a massive audience in an environmentally friendly way, with virtually any type of waste stream collected.

Searge added: Mainly the bins collect waste streams such as paper, cardboard and drinks cans and bottles. But they can also be adapted to take things such as ink cartridges, mobile phones and batteries when placed in shopping parks with stores such as Currys.

Collection of the waste will then be carried out by a third party. In the case of the hospitals, I think that most will have contractors that carry out waste operations.

With no cost for the stainless steel bin and replacements provided free of charge, Searge suggests that the service offers a complete programme to those who otherwise would not have the means to recycle. And with a very low contamination rate, it also allows clients to make additional money from collected streams such as aluminium cans.

The system has already been implemented in 15 UK shopping centres, with another 32 currently discussing the idea and great interest from a number of universities.

We are the first to do this in the UK and set up the concept a few years ago. But like everything, it takes time. But now business is getting faster and faster and the products are getting very strong, added Searge.



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