Waste Stories 30/3/2015


1. Joint Healthcare Waste and Resources Research Group and ISWA International conference

In conjunction with the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), the Group will be hosting an international conference on April 14 and 15, 2016. It will be held at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust in London. More details to follow.

2. Landfill Tax set to rise

Landfill tax is due to rise with inflation on 1 April, taking it from £80 per tonne to £82.60, Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) confirmed. It will increase in England, Wales and Northern Ireland from £80 to £82.60 per tonne as a result of a change in Finance Act 2014.

Read the story here: landfill tax rise

3. 2degees awards

Voting is now open for the 2degrees awards. Winning is based on peer support.

Vote here:  2degrees awards

4. New French buildings must have solar panels or green roofs

France has introduced a law that requires the roofs of buildings constructed in commercial zones to be at least partially covered by solar panels or plants. The law, which was passed on the 19 March, is a weaker version of what environmental activists were lobbying for. The initial call was for all new buildings to have “living roofs”. Businesses will now be able to cover only part of their roof in plants and can if they wish substitute photovoltaic panels.

France is behind other western European countries in terms of its solar power effort. Whereas Germany has a peak capacity of about 40GW and Italy has 17GW, France has only 5GW, about the same as the UK – which is more reliant on wind power. Its solar capacity actually dropped in 2013, and now accounts for only 6% of total European capacity.

Read the full story here: New French building guidelines

5. ISWA video awards

ISWA is pleased to announce the 2015 edition of ISWA’s online short video competition known as “ISWA Video Award” is now open for submissions. The theme of the contest is ‘Waste’. Entries shall explore the theme ‘Waste’ as one of the major global problems of our society in an original, witty way.
Whether documentary, fiction, animation or a combination thereof – the decision about the film genre as well as the technical realisation is left up to the contestant. Only the length of the film is specified. The video must be minimum 30 seconds and should not exceed a total duration of 80 seconds.
The competition is open to individual entrants aged over 18 only, not to, or in association with any business or organisation. The Prize for the Winner is 1,500 Euros, for the second place 750 Euros.
The award presentation will take place at the Gala dinner at the ISWA 2015 World Congress in Antwerp, Belgium.
Deadline for entries is 31 May 2015.

Click here for more details: ISWA video awards

Waste stories 23/3/2015



1.Joint Healthcare Waste and Resources Research Group and ISWA International conference

In conjunction with the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), the Group will be hosting an international conference on April 14 and 15, 2016. It will be held at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust in London. More details to follow.

2.Register for funding workshops at NHS Confederations Annual conference

The NHS Confederation’s European office will run two sessions at the NHS Confederation Annual Conference in Liverpool in June looking at different European funding programmes. The sessions will focus on opportunities for the NHS offered by Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation funding programme, and European Structural and Investment Funds, which support activities relating to innovation, skills, employment, and social inclusion.

3.CIWM awards for Sustainability and Resource now open

Read more here: CIWM awards

4. NHS Sustainability day (March 26)

On 26th March 2015, every NHS organisation is encouraged to participate in initiating or continuing activities which will improve their sustainability.

Read more here: NHS Sustainability day

5. Article on survey of H&S and waste management training among clinicians within the NHS

Major occupational risks are often associated closely with specific job sectors. These risks can lead to significant psychological and physiological impacts (Gonclaves et al, 2008; Patwary et al, 2012; Akpieyi et al, 2015). According to the HSE (2014), in the UK in 2013/14, 1.2 million individuals suffered an illness that was caused by or made worse by work. There were 28.2 million days lost, costing around £14.2 billion. A total of 133 employees were killed….

Read the article here: European Medical Hygiene article

Waste Stories 15/3/2015


1. Rand Europe report on hospital governance models

This report by Rand Europe looks at different hospital models in other countries and whether they could provide lessons for the hospital sector in England. In particular, it explores group hospital provider structure and governance models and the extent to which these may be associated with greater efficiency and improved quality of service provision.

See the report here: Rand Europe

2. ISWA study tour of sorting plants in London (May 11 – 13)

The ISWA Study Tour on Sorting Plants will take place on 11-13 May to examine new developments in the processing of waste in order to extract value from it.  The tour covers the initial recovery of materials for recycling as well as several London plants which both sort residual waste to extract more recyclable materials and also process waste into refuse derived fuel, both for use in the UK and for export to other European countries.

See details here: ISWA study tour

3. Study on the environmental impacts of heavy metals in pharmaceuticals

A study on heavy metals leaching from pharmaceuticals in Greece. NB. if you wish to see the full article, you will have to either contact the authors or purchase a copy.

Read the abstract here: Abstract of article

4. Californian stakeholder meetings to review regulations on healthcare waste

The California Department of Public Health, Medical Waste Management Unit is conducting a series of stakeholder meetings inviting all interested parties to attend and review the new regulations mandated by AB 333. The Department is responsible to report to the state legislature by Jan 1, 2016 on using federal rules under DOT vs state rules to regulate transport of medical waste.

See dates here: Californian workshop dates

5. Awards for excellence in recycling and waste management

The Awards for Excellence in Recycling and Waste Management provide recognition to leaders of innovation in the sector. Winners will be announced at the lavish Awards ceremony on 14 May 2015 at the five star Landmark Hotel in London.

See details here: Waste management awards ceremony

Waste Stories 9/3/2015


1.Assistance with students

I have two students, who I would like to have some assistance with:

Kaouther Maaroufi is a second year PhD student in the Environmental Biomonitoring Laboratory (LBE), Faculty of Sciences of Bizerte, University of Carthage, Tunisia. She will be spending April – June, 2015 with me. I would like to organise some site visits (treatment facilities, hospitals, etc.). As well as potentially for her to do some sampling of waste water from hospitals in London and outside of London, for pharmaceuticals or selected microbes.  If there’s anyone who would be willing for her to visit and/or to do some sampling, could you let me know by March 20 please?

Costanza Viani is a MSc student at Northampton. Her dissertation is looking at a comparative feasibility study on options for the sustainable management (primarily recycling) of used metal instruments, in England and Italy. If there’s anyone who would be willing to be interviewed or has any data that they would be willing to share, can you let me know?

2.Waste sector resilience workshop in Nottingham

Climate East Midlands waste resilience workshop

3.Secure return of unwanted medicines program

The King County Board of Health passed the Secure Medicine Return Regulations on June 20, 2013, establishing an industry – funded product stewardship model to collect and safely dispose of unwanted household medicines from residents of the county. Legislation was developed through a year-long process where a subcommittee of the Board consulted with stakeholders, examined barriers to medicine take-back in the county, and developed a proposed product stewardship policy which was adopted unanimously by the full Board.

Read more about the program here: King County medicine return program

4. Manchester to get devolved status for its health spend

Greater Manchester is to become the first English region to get full control of its health spending, as part of an extension of devolved powers. Chancellor George Osborne said the £6bn health and social care budget would be taken over by the region’s councils and health groups.

Read the story here: Manchester health devolution

5. CIWM workshops for full membership and chartered status

See listing here: CIWM chartered interview workshops

6. NHS funding in Europe

The NHS European Office chaired a session at the recent “Health is Wealth” event in Liverpool on EU funding, with speakers from the European Commission, Liverpool University and Liverpool Local Enterprise Partnership. The presentations are available for download and cover both Horizon 2020 and European Structural and Investment Funds, the two EU programmes of most relevance for the NHS. To discuss contact michael.wood@nhsconfed.org.

See funding here: NHS European funding

Waste Stories 24/2/2015


1. Research on global issues in healthcare waste

An evaluation of healthcare waste management globally, from Caniato M, Tudor T and Vaccari M, in the Journal of Environmental Management.

Healthcare waste management globally

2. Resource Event 2015, March 3 – 5 | ExCel, London
Resource is the annual three day congress and exhibition that brings together circular economy professionals. Rather than being about sustainability, it’s about good business. Join 11,000 professionals from businesses large and small to connect, share learning and explore opportunities to become more circular and resource efficient.

See details here: Resource Event

3. New public sector contracts regulations

The new regulations come into force on February 26.

See the regulations here: Public Contracts Regulations

4. Sardinia symposium (5 – 9, October)

See the programme, call for companies and workshops here: Sardinia 2015

Waste Stories 17/2/2015

 binPhoto compliments of Stewart Maudsley (from Econix Ltd), of a bin in NZ

1. Green Investment Bank launches waste waste fund

The Green Investment Bank (GIB) has launched a new fund to support small-scale recycling and waste projects in the UK. The Recycling and Waste fund aims to raise at least £50m from the private sector and follows the launch of another fund for off-shore wind projects in 2014…

See details here: GIB waste fund

2. PVC recycling in Australia

It has been estimated that plastics (all types) account for about one third of a hospital’s general waste, most of which is sent to landfill in Australia. Of that plastic waste, PVC is estimated to represent about 25 per cent.

PVC can be recycled effectively once it is recovered from the waste stream and has been separated from other plastics or materials. A pilot PVC recovery program was initiated at Western Health Victoria in 2009. The program demonstrated that some PVC medical products can be separated relatively easily by hospital staff; the PVC can be recycled in Australia and the recyclate produced can be re-manufactured into useful new products.

See the story and video here: PVC recycling

3. Resource efficiency could generate £££billions

Resource efficiency could generate an extra £3.58bn for UK businesses by 2020, according to a new study by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ (Defra).

Read the full study here: Defra resource efficiency report

4. Symposium on sustainability in health and wellness: June 9, 2015

The symposium ‘Sustainability in Wellness and Health’ is taking place on 10th June at the Creativity Centre in Brighton. This symposium aims to present the diversity of sustainable practices within health and social care settings and to inspire change towards more sustainable practices. The School of Health Sciences at the University of Brighton is extending an invitation to academic and clinical colleagues from a wide range of disciplines who wish to engage in sustainability to submit papers and posters.

See details here: Health and wellness symposium

Waste stories 11/2/2015


1. Head of resource efficiency at WRc

WRc is an Independent Centre of Excellence for Innovation and Growth. It is currently implementing an ambitious growth strategy, with a specific focus on waste and resource management, water, environment and gas sectors.

WRc job advert

2. ‘Eco-friendly’ disposal of healthcare waste in Sierra Leone

New York — With support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), Sierra Leone has begun to use new, environmentally-friendly sterilizing equipment to help dispose of the vast amounts of contaminated protective equipment and infectious waste generated in treating Ebola patients.

Read the story here: Eco-friendly disposal

3. Green ward competition

The Green Ward Competition is a clinical engagement programme for NHS Trusts wishing to improve their environmental sustainability. Clinical teams taking part in the competition are supported to identify and take forward a sustainability project in their ward or department. At the end of the programme, a prize is awarded to the team whose project has had greatest impact on improving sustainability, or which shows the greatest potential for future impact. The launch of the Green Ward Competition at your Trust can be tied in with NHS Sustainability Day of Action on 26 March 2015.

Read details here: Green ward competition

4. Call for papers on health and waste management

The academic journal, Waste and Resource Management is calling for papers on the link between health and waste management for its upcoming issue. Risk assessment of waste management approaches or technologies, or case studies of health impacts of broad interest to the profession are being sought. Possible themes include descriptions of waste and public issues and strategies to reduce or eliminate health risks through improved technologies, recycling and final disposal, and the impact on health due to environmental pollution caused by wastecollection, transport, recycling, and collection by formal and informal systems.

See details here: ICE journal

5. Viridor secures NHS contract in Devon

Viridor has announced that following a competitive tendering process it has secured a five-year contract to process and treat the waste and recycling for three NHS Trusts in Devon.

See the story here: NHS waste contract

Waste Stories 3/2/2015


1.US EPA to propose new regulations for pharmaceuticals

The EPA plans to propose new regulations this year to address the management of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The agency anticipates issuing a notice of proposed rulemaking on this issue in June 2015, according to its updated regulatory agenda, the availability of which was announced in the Federal Register on December 22, 2014 (79 Fed. Reg. 76,772).

Read the story here: EPA guidelines on pharmaceutical waste

2. Half day master class in planning, at CIWM HQ

In partnership with ENDS and Waste Planning magazine, CIWM is delighted to offer a half-day masterclass on ‘Smarter Planning and Delivery for Waste’. Three highly experienced speakers will cover the vital issues facing those working in the waste sector, including guidance for robust and compliant waste planning, advice on locating suitable locations for waste facilities (with reference to what the new waste policy means for development in the green belt) and how to effectively communicate plans for waste development to the wider community.

See booking details here: CIWM master class in planning

3. Defra digest of waste and resources

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has published key statistics from the waste and resources sector in a single publication.

See the report here: Defra waste digest

4. North Bristol NHS Trust uses ‘robots’ to move waste

North Bristol National Health Service (NHS) Trust has rolled out a new automated waste collection system using containers from bin manufacturer Taylor and automated guided vehicles (AGVs) from automative specialists Swisslog.

Read the story here: North Bristol NHS waste ‘robots’


Waste Stories 27/1/2015


1. Waste manager’s job at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

The Trust is one of the ten elite teaching and research acute Trusts that form the Shelford Group. It has a turnover of almost £1billion a year, with almost 1.5 million patient contacts and over 13,000 members of staff. It generates 5,000 tonnes of waste a year, from two major acute teaching hospitals (RVI & Freeman) as well as the Campus for Ageing & Vitality, Dental Hospital, International Centre for Life and over a dozen community healthcare sites across the city (what were PCT properties). Waste to landfill was discontinued in January 2011 and rates of recycling have steadily increased since then to approach a rate of 50% (for non-clinical). The efforts have led to: inclusion as a best practice example in the government’s national waste prevention guidelines, winning the Green Nephrology Award 2012, finalists in Healthcare Recycler of the Year 2014 and most recently achieving the Carbon Trust Standard for Waste (only the second NHS Trust to achieve this and the first of the Shelford Group)

Deadline for applications is February 8, 2015. Details of the post can be found here: Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust waste manager’s job

 2. Ebola task force calls for assistance

Read more here: WasteAid International and Disaster Waste Recovery task force

3.Resource Event 2015, 3rd – 5th March | ExCel, London

Resource is a three day congress with an exhibition that brings together exponents of the circular economy. Businesses both large and small will attend Resource to make connections, share learning and explore the opportunities to be more circular. The show will host a two theatre conference programme, 24 workshops, networking and stand spaces for interaction with the companies from the circular economy and resource sector.

See details here: Resource Event 2015

4. Environment Agency launches IsItWaste Tool

IsItWaste is a self assessment tool to help you decide whether your material is likely to be a waste or not. The tool is based on the By-Products (Article 5) and End of Waste (Article 6) parts of the Waste Framework Directive (WFD 2008/98/EC). This version of the tool is for England only.

Access the tool here: IsItWaste tool