Inside Care Home Waste

If you follow us on social media, you may already be aware of who Dove Cottage Day Hospice is. If you don’t, then Dove Cottage Day Hospice offers high-quality palliative daycare to those with life-limiting illnesses. Flame UK has been supporting Dove Cottage by encouraging businesses and schools to collect plastic bottle tops which they send to be recycled and in return, get money.

We asked Jenny Hendry at Dove Cottage what kind of waste they produce inside their hospice, here is what she had to say:

“We have all sorts of waste to deal with at the hospice, some of which will be familiar to the regular homeowner, but also other types that present different challenges.

The bulk of our waste is the regular kind, which we split into general waste and recycling. There are separate bins in different rooms around the hospice, with signs on those in the common areas explaining what can and cannot be recycled. These bins then get emptied regularly and put into large outdoor receptacles.

The facilities that we have for our regular waste are generally okay, although we can struggle for space when we’ve hosted an event, and the bins are too full. This then has a knock-on effect as we must find somewhere to store any overflow until we have a collection. As with any organisation, you don’t want too much waste hanging around! The other thing we need to stay on top of, as an environmentally responsible organisation, is ensuring we’re recycling everything we can.

With a lot of volunteers on our books, some 250, this can sometimes mean the waste needs to be checked and sorted to ensure that everything is in the right bins, especially when things change or it’s not immediately obvious what can and cannot be recycled.

Our other type of waste, which is more specific to a care environment, is contaminated waste. This is put in yellow and black striped bags, known as ‘tiger bags’. All such waste must be disposed of correctly, which is why we need to have a clear bagging system and a storeroom for the bagged, contaminated waste. Only certain people from our nursing or cleaning team handle the contaminated waste so we can make sure everything is done correctly; we also need to ensure everyone who’s in contact with the contaminated waste wears the correct protective clothing. The hospice is a relatively big space, and we need to manage the waste efficiently and safely in and around the building. The contaminated waste then gets placed in our normal outside black bins, with the onus being on the binmen to ensure it’s correctly separated from other types.

As a hospice and a care environment, our challenge is to make sure we are always handling waste in both a safe and environmentally responsible manner.”

Our support structure and account management is very communication focused. We can provide larger waste bins, or skips on a temporary basis, increase waste bin collections frequencies, or event-specific waste services. Identifying opportunities to recycle is extremely important, and all of our customers, where possible in the country will receive zero waste to landfill options.  Some waste material must go to landfill, but limiting this is essential to the environment.  Energy from waste is our preferred method of treating non-recyclable materials. A customer that generates large volumes of waste can benefit from waste compaction, or baling of card and polythene.  This has two main benefits; reduced cost from haulage and transportation, and reduced CO2 to the atmosphere, making your site more efficient.

Flame UK can offer any advice and services to the care industry, contact us on 0115 896 5460 to discuss your waste.

 

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