A new initiative which is giving a fresh lease of life to hundreds of tonnes of waste cardboard has been launched at West Suffolk Hospital.
The recycling scheme has seen a compactor installed in the hospital grounds where old cardboard is crushed before it is sold to a local company to be recycled. The hospital estimate around four tonnes of waste cardboard a week will be reused through the scheme, in turn helping the environment.
The project comes in addition to a range of other schemes at the hospital, where wood, shredded paper and batteries are already recycled and out of date medical equipment is sent to Syria to be reused.
In addition, an initiative launched last year to recycle old cooking oil into power has already seen enough electricity generated to brew more than 600,000 cups of tea.
Nick Finch, a buyer in the purchasing department has spearheaded the schemes, 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 reducing the amount of waste we send to landfill while giving a second lease of life to waste materials.
“We are always looking for new things to recycle and are hoping to introduce a scheme for plastics and mobile phones soon. We will continue to explore different ideas options for the future so that we can reduce our environmental impact as much as possible.”
Rob Murphy, operations director with Living Fuels, which collects the hospital’s cooking oil for recycling, said: “We’re really glad that West Suffolk Hospital is taking such important strides to reduce their carbon footprints and hope more hospitals will follow their stellar example.”
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.