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Business Hero of the day – Northampton General Hospital

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northampton general hospital zero waste week heroDuring Zero Waste Week we’re meeting some amazing businesses who are reducing the amount sent to landfill by taking part in the week.

Today we’re talking to Northampton General Hospital – who have even salvaged PRECIOUS METALS from their waste stream! Find out how…
Who are you?

Northampton General Hospital is medium sized acute NHS Trust serving a local population of 380,000 and providing hyper-acute stroke, vascular and renal services to 684,000 people living throughout whole of Northamptonshire from our main site at the edge of the town centre.

We have 30 wards and 16 operating theatres with more than 1,000 visitors and patients coming onto site each day to access our services.

How many of you work at Northampton General Hospital?

Northampton General Hospital employs over 4,000 staff.

northampton general hospital reducing landfill zero waste week hero

What inspired you to take part in Zero Waste Week?

Whenever I try to talk to people about energy and sustainability the conversation always comes back round to waste.  Our staff are keen to recycle and often come up with things that they see would like us to stop throwing away.

When I read about Zero Waste Week I thought it would be an ideal opportunity to raise awareness and hopefully get some more of those ideas raised.

What is your Zero Waste Week pledge?

We are promoting reuse by running a stationery and uniform amnesty and the Oxfam Big Bra Hunt as well as many other things such as a menu from the LoveFoodHateWaste website, so, lots of events to try and raise waste awareness.

What is the motivation for your pledge?

There is a lot of emphasis on recycling whereas even better is to find a use for unwanted things and to move away from single use items.

What are some of the things you do on a day-to-day basis to reduce landfill waste?

  • We have an internal site to list things that are no longer wanted but that may be reused elsewhere (similar to Freegle).
  • We make donations of unwanted furniture, equipment, even curtains, to a local charity – the Phoenix Resource Centre – who redistribute them to charities in the UK and overseas.
  • We have a collection point for the recycling of asthma inhalers.
  • We have moved to reusable sharps bins that stop 10 tonnes of plastic being incinerated every year and reusable slide sheets that stop a tonne of material going to landfill.
  • We recycle metal (ferrous and non-ferrous), batteries (including lead acid), pallets and cardboard as well as the Dry Mixed recycling.  We even recycled our XRays which resulted in the recovery of 62kg of silver.

What one tip would you give to other businesses that are inspired to reduce their landfill waste but don’t know where to start?

Start  anywhere, no matter how small it is, you will find staff really keen because waste is so visible.  Try to find things that resonate with a particular group of staff and that they can then take ownership of.

reusing envelopes northampton general hospital zero waste week hero

 

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Rachelle Strauss

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