Project Title: Reverse Vending of Bottles and Cans at Barts NHS Health Trust
Barts Health NHS Trust, working in partnership with Skanska, wanted to introduce an incentivised recycling program that will reward individuals for recycling their empty drink cans and PET plastic bottles. By encouraging individuals with incentives, which include local charity donation and discount off drinks in the hospital restaurant, it is hoped that we can encourage individuals to change their behaviours to become more environmentally responsible.
It is hoped that over time, this Reverse Vending Machine (RVM) will reduce the carbon footprint of the waste management operation. This will be achieved by reducing waste volumes, on site separation, and through reducing waste collections. This reduction will be measured with the auditable data trail created on an online portal.
The programme is part of a wider waste initiative by the Trust aimed at supporting the Trust in improving compliance, knowledge & skills, reducing environmental impact, reducing production and making residual waste a commodity.
By installing the RVM, The Trust became the ‘First Hospital Trust in the World to install a ReVend Reverse Vending Machine’. We hope to use this project as a case study for future projects and to set an example to other hospital trusts and businesses as to the possibilities waste can produce.
In the first month of the project being installed, Barts Health NHS Trust has diverted over 3000 bottles and cans, creating a separate waste stream. This is already having noticeable benefits on bin emptying rates with reductions of two bags a day.
In the first few weeks, over 50 staff members have been educated about the machine. This, along with news articles published on the hospital intranet and through planned media campaigns, we hope to improve use of the machine by another 20%.
While managing the waste the Barts Health NHS Trust and Skanska partnership have built links with local business and our contractors, encouraging them to become future proof. Skanska and Barts Health NHS trust are helping to introduce Reverse Vending Machines into the UK Market.
The Barts Health and Skanska partnership are already using the case study to encourage further business growth. Sharing the study with other companies in the hope of sharing environmental best practice.
Operating transparently, the commitment shown is already encouraging future machines for crushing renal plastic bottles. Reducing the shipment of ‘air’ is essential in reducing the carbon footprint and costs of the waste operations.
“First Hospital in the World ” to install a reVend Reverse Vending Machine
Barts Health NHS Trust working in partnership with Skanska have become the “First Hospital in the World to install a ReVend Reverse Vending Machine (RVM)”. The installation of the machine at Whipps Cross Hospital, has led to the creation of a used beverage container recycling programme. This program is aimed at motivating and incentivising individuals to recycle, by offering incentives of a 10p voucher off drinks or a donation to the hospitals charity. The separation of these materials from other waste has created a separate commoditised waste stream, with the creation of local business ties to buy, collect and sell the resources, reinvesting any money made into patient care.
The Trust already diverts 100% of waste from landfill. Domestic waste is separated for recycling at a Materials Recycling Facility, with non-recyclables converted into Refuse Derived Fuel. By investing in the RVM, the Trust can progressively move up the waste hierarchy.
The Reverse Vending Machine technology automates the recognition / collection /compaction and storage of used beverage drink cans and PET Plastic Bottles, reducing the need for human intervention. Recovering the items at the creation source reduces emissions and makes items ready for recycling, helping to shorten the closed recycling loop.
The installation of the Reverse Vending Machine has helped to advertise the long standing commitment from the Trust to reduce waste, increase recycling and lead innovation. Fitting to sustainability agendas, it is hope that the practice will facilitate further discussion and thinking around sustainable resource usage.
It is hoped that the machine will be cost neutral, with savings from reduced waste pickups, increased staff efficiency and revenue generated from the machine balancing the costs of leasing and financing the incentives.
There are also large carbon savings to be made by using this machine. This was an important factor when installing the machine, as the Trust has a carbon savings commitment and wanted to reduce the number of waste vehicles collecting from site.
The ReVend Reverse Vending Machine automatically sends a text or email when the storage container needs to be emptied, reducing the need for staff to keep checking the machine. With a capacity of well over 1,000 items, this drastically reduces staff collections.
First reVend Reverse Vending Machine installed in a Hospital
This very important installation, shows real recycling statistics in real time, which can be accessed through an online portal. This data gives us total transparency, and provides real auditable statistics of used beverage drink containers. European Governments are using similar machines in their “Deposit Systems”.
The staff at the hospital have been highly committed to making the machine a success, spreading the message through media and word of mouth. Restaurant staff separate recyclables which have been left on tables and trays. Staff have also commented on the reduction of the number of times they need to empty the bins, and say that is allowing them to undertake other important jobs in the restaurant.
Talks and on the spot demos have been offered to staff during lunch hours, educating over 30 individuals on the benefits of using it to recycle items. There has been a keen interest with staff bringing in bottles from home to recycle goods.
For further information visit : http://www.reversevending.co.uk