West Suffolk has become one of the country’s first hospitals to sign up to a new scheme to recycle waste cooking oil into electricity.
All oil from the trust’s kitchens is now being collected by Hockwold-based Living Fuels and used to run renewable energy facilities which feed directly into the national grid. The hospital will receive a small payment in return.
The scheme is the latest in a line of projects designed to reduce the amount of waste which West Suffolk sends to landfill. Cardboard, batteries, non-confidential paper and wood are already recycled by the hospital, while further schemes to reuse uniforms, plastic and tin may be introduced in the future.
Nick Finch, a buyer in the purchasing department has spearheaded the schemes. He said: “Like all NHS organisations, we have a responsibility to reduce the impact which we have on the environment. These recycling schemes have been a simple way of doing just that while giving a second lease of life to waste materials.
“We are pleased that we have been able to work with Living Fuels to start recycling cooking oil, and believe we are one of the first trusts in the country to introduce such a scheme. We are always looking for new things to recycle and will continue to explore different options for the future so that we can reduce our environmental impact as much as possible.”
Rob Murphy, operations director with Living Fuels, said: “We’re delighted to be working with West Suffolk hospital to help them dispose of a difficult waste stream and then recover it into a clean, green electricity. We hope that other hospitals will take a leaf out of their book when it comes to sustainability practices.”
In addition to the recycling schemes, the Trust also has a green travel plan in place to encourage staff to find sustainable ways of reaching work, such as cycling, walking or using a shuttle bus service from the rugby club.
Staff are also regularly reminded to take simple steps to save energy, such as switching off lights and computers when not in use, printing double sided and making sure taps are turned off properly.