Trust adopts new waste technology to reduce costs

Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust has adopted new technology to cut costs and improve food waste management systems.

Over the past 12 months, NLaG – which is believed to be the first NHS foundation trust to adopt this technology – has been looking at ways of improving the disposal of food waste at its hospitals.

A new ‘digester’ has been installed at Grimsby hospital, with a further machine set to be installed at Scunthorpe hospital. Food waste is fed into the machines and using aerobic digestion technology and a blend of micro-organisms, it naturally breaks down the food waste into a liquid form. Once the food waste is broken down, it is safely discharged as wastewater into the drains.

Traditionally food waste has been bagged in the kitchens and then taken to the service yard where it was placed in food wheelie bins for collection.

Sally Yates, logistics and waste manager, said: “Food waste is inevitable across our hospitals but it is trying to keep it to a minimum which is key for us, as well as ensuring we find environmentally friendly ways of disposing of our waste. We believe we are the first NHS foundation trust to adopt this technology.

“As well as digesting the organic waste, the machines can be programmed to monitor the weight of the waste food from ward level. This will help improve efficiency in our kitchens, as it will identify the areas which are producing the most waste, giving us the opportunity to work with that area to reduce their waste and in turn reduce the Trust’s food costs.”

Niki Dieudonne, catering manager at Grimsby hospital, said: “The staff really like the machine as it is so easy to use. It is a far easier system than what we were using before as staff no longer have to move big bags around into the bins.”

Rupert Galliers-Pratt, founder and director of Aerobic Technologies Ltd which has developed the machines, said: “We are delighted to have helped the Trust in achieving its forward thinking targets of reducing costs and contributing to the environment by adopting sustainability initiatives.

“We are also pleased to have been able to appoint two local companies in North Lincolnshire for manufacturing of our technology, which is also good news for the local economy.”

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