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NRAs 2015 Public Service Recycler: Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has turned around its recycling and waste collection system and brought in savings equivalent to three or four nurses’ salaries every year.

Back in 2010 little recycling was taking place, but through investment in the tools to aid segregation, along with a strong focus on communication and engagement with staff at all levels, segregation and recycling is now an established routine for all staff that operate from Trust managed buildings.

Its new domestic waste scheme resulted in a 36% improvement in costs in its first year and a further 22% improvement in its second year.

The new scheme involved removal of waste paper baskets and installation of recycling stations. These were sited close to main thoroughfares, reception desks, beverage areas and areas with high concentrations of staff. The stations consisted of two sack holders, one for mixed recyclables and one for landfill waste. Jason Mitchell, waste and environmental manager at the Trust, ensured he was on hand to engage with staff and managers when the scheme was rolled out.

“This showed sustained success delivered at low cost through simple measures and systems. The drive and active engagement of its waste and environmental manager should be acknowledged in the success of this project.”

Judges’ comment                                      

As well as improved recycling rates and lower costs, the new waste system – phased in over a number of months across the Trust’s sites – also resulted in tidier working environments and working efficiencies. For example, one member of staff saved more than an hour emptying bins.

The Trust’s domestic recycling rate in 2012-13 was 72% if calculated by weight, with the remainder used for refuse-derived fuel.

Return on investment was difficult to calculate because the measures introduced coincided with changes in the waste contract. The results were therefore an accumulation of new opportunities for offensive waste and infectious orange bag waste, as well as the implementation of a new two-bin, four waste stream system (infectious, offensive, recyclable and nonrecyclable domestic waste) in treatment rooms, and an emphasis on engagement and communication.

Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

This saw healthcare waste costs fall 54% in the first year, and waste consigned for incineration dropping from 100% to 6%, which has been maintained.  


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