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many yellow clinical hopper waste bins in a warehouse with a blue shredding machine at Stericycle facilty

Clinical waste processing from CHP buildings reduces landfill and supports recycling

All healthcare providers, play a pivotal role in sustainability by ensuring correct, compliant waste sorting on site. Incorrect disposal in the wrong waste steam leads to contamination, undermining sustainable treatment solutions and more waste going to landfill. Clinical waste must be segregated appropriately; once the wrong material ends up in the wrong bag, it must undergo a different treatment than originally intended, usually requiring a more energy intensive process, generating more carbon emissions as a result and at a greater cost.

The CHP team work with our partners at Stericycle across 221 sites in the CHP portfolio. They collect and segregate clinical waste from our sites, shred the material, and then introduce high temperature steam for disinfection. The end material, called flock, is subsequently processed, and classified as non-hazardous material which can be used to make various products instead of adding more waste to landfill sites.

Alan Simper and Sarah Turner from the Facilities Contract team and Grant Curnow Service Desk Coordinator at CHP visited a Stericycle facility in Telford to see how the team processes clinical waste.  Stericycle runs 18 clinical waste disposal and management centres across the UK (www.stericycle.co.uk/en-gb).

CHP’s clinical waste impact 2022/23

CHP’s annual tonnage with Stericycle:

  • 343 tonnes of non-infectious waste
  • 752 tonnes of potentially infectious, heat-treated waste 
Sarah Turner, Grant Curnow, Alan Simper and Ben Flatres from Stericycle
Sarah Turner, Grant Curnow, Alan Simper from CHP with Ben Flatres from Stericycle

As part of CHP’s Green Plan and our commitment to a  #GreenerNHS, we have detailed waste control and recycling initiatives at our corporate headquarters and the 308 buildings we manage.

many yellow clinical hopper waste bins in a warehouse with a blue shredding machine at Stericycle facilty
Stericycle machines shred the waste, steam disinfect and produce non-hazardous flock which can be used in new products

Estate and facilities play a vital role in delivering sustainability throughout all healthcare services and operations. Every year, the NHS produces approximately 156,000 tonnes of clinical waste, resulting in significant environmental impact and associated running costs and carbon emissions. The correct management, segregation and disposal of healthcare waste is crucial in minimising these. Healthcare staff, CHP staff, waste management professionals, and the public all play a part in ensuring that waste produced in our buildings is segregated correctly. As we continue to embed sustainability across CHP, we will be working collaboratively throughout our supply chain to deliver a #GreenerNHS. Together, we can create a safer and healthier world.

Why Waste Segregation Matters:

  • Infection Control: Segregating clinical waste at the source minimises the risk of infections and cross-contamination among patients, healthcare workers, and the community. It is a fundamental measure to protect public health.
  • Worker Safety: Proper segregation and labelling of clinical waste protect healthcare professionals from accidental exposure to hazardous materials, including sharps needles, reducing occupational risks.
  • Legal Compliance: Adhering to waste segregation regulations is not only ethical but also a legal requirement.
  • Environmental Stewardship: Segregation allows for the recycling and safe disposal of non-hazardous waste components, reducing the environmental impact of clinical waste.
  • Resource Efficiency: Efficient segregation minimises waste disposal costs and reduces the overall burden on the healthcare system.

Soft FM and Recycling at CHP Health Centres

Soft Facilities Management (Soft FM) is fundamental to providing healthy, safe, compliant, and sustainable healthcare estate. Cleaning, security, reception services and waste management teams are instrumental in the effective and efficient day-to-day operations of CHP sites to enable excellent clinical care. The Facilities Contract team and the Service Desk team, alongside the Property and Operations team at CHP monitor and report on suppliers to ensure they are meeting agreed standards.

If tenants at a CHP building have any queries about clinical waste disposal, they should contact their CHP ORM or Portfolio Manager.

CHP Green Plan

In 2022, CHP published our ‘Green Plan: A Greener CHP a Greener NHS’. We are embedding our Green Plan into our business, committing resources, supporting staff taking action to ensure it is a success. In 2023/24 we continue to work on our Net Zero Delivery Plan. 

Download: CHP Green Plan, a greener CHP, a greener NHS  (PDF)
Our green vision is to put sustainable development at the heart of our company to ensure our estate and operations are as resilient as the can possibly be. CHP Green Plan

Sustainability at CHP

As part of the NHS family, CHP supports the NHS ambition to deliver the world’s first net zero health system. Sustainable Facilities are one of our five strategic aims and Sustainability is one of our four corporate social responsibility pillars. Aligning with the NHS target of achieving Net Zero Carbon by 2040, the team at CHP are committed to achieve Net Zero Carbon for the LIFT estate by 2040 and 2030 for our corporate functions.

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