A helping hand in the care sector

UKWSL works with one of the leading care providers in the UK. We support our clients waste needs across 71 locations from Worthing to Whitchurch and Cornwall  to Cambridge. 

Our client has significant expertise in supporting people with particularly complex needs, including autistic spectrum conditions, mental health needs, challenging behaviour, profound and multiple learning disabilities and associated complex health needs.

One of their values is “Being Brave”. “We are creative and confident, empowering the people we support and our teams to achieve amazing things”.

At UKWSL we recognise the value of being brave and doing amazing things. This shared belief is one of the key reasons our partnership has been so successful.

Service Success

It’s not all about innovation and creativity, our clients most fundamental need is to have their waste taken away on-time so that they don’t have excess waste piling up presenting hygiene risks as well as a health & safety risk for care home residents and staff.

Our business model provides customers with the benefit that local solutions are delivered on a national scale. We selected 26 service partners who ensure that we deliver against the clients fundamental needs. In fact, in 2019 our average on-time service success rate for more than 6,500 container collections was 99.2%. Our strategic service partner selection process means that we recovered almost all of the remaining 0.8% of collections within one working day.

The challenges for segregation

Due to residents having learning and behavioural disabilities, recycling on site is not guaranteed. We can’t compare recycling rates with other areas of the care sector as the challenges are unique. Residents are encouraged to be actively involved in recycling as part of any therapy. They routinely help clean and tidy, and do the gardening. Some sites have invested in composters where everybody can dispose of garden and food waste.

To engage staff, UKWSL created bespoke posters highlighting the do’s and don’ts for source segregation.  Importantly, our account management team identified that there was confusion for some staff about “what materials are categorised as offensive waste”? The fact is, the healthcare sector has to comply with more than 40 key pieces of legislation and regulation relating to management and collection of healthcare waste. 

Non-infectious streams including feminine hygiene waste and adult nappies (EWC code 18-01-04) are placed into “tiger stripe” bags which is categorised as low on the pyramid of risk. This means that the disposal method should be via deep burial in a landfill site, or through the preferred route via an Autoclave. This process is designed to sterilise and disinfect materials. Once treated, the material is shredded, baled and used as an alternative to
fossil fuels.

UKWSL also manages the collection of sharps waste (EWC code 18-01-03*).  This material is deemed as high risk meaning that it has to be burnt at high temperatures to ensure sterilisation. The gases from the incineration process reach temperatures above 1100 degrees Celsius.

Diversion from landfill

In 2017 our customers waste contractor provided no statistical data relating to recycling or recovery. Therefore, they had no alternative but to assume that most of their domestic waste was being sent to landfill. By partnering with UKWSL they have been able to track their performance rates across the estate. In December 2018 UKWSL’s service partners diverted 91% of all waste generated from landfill for our customer. In 2019 we made a commitment to improve this performance further. By December 2019 the landfill diversion rate had increased to a fantastic 98%. Our ultimate goal of achieving zero landfill is now just a stone’s throw away. Our customer will join our elite “Zero The Hero” club once they have surpassed 99%.

Compliance

The Care Quality Commission is the independent regulator of health & social care in England. They monitor, inspect and regulate all aspects of the sector ranging from:

• NHS hospitals
• Private dental practices
• Care homes

An area of focus is the prevention, segregation, handling, transportation and disposal of waste to ensure it is properly managed so as to minimise the risks to the health & safety of staff, patients, the public and the safety of the environment. 

To support our customers’ ability to demonstrate compliance, we have provided them with access to our online portal ‘The HUB’. Our portal presents honest, accurate and real-time data, giving our customers complete confidence in the services we provide. At the click of a button, sites can access electronic copies of waste carrier licenses, disposal site permits, hazardous waste consignment notes and more.

The portal also shows information about the tonnages generated by waste stream, by site and by month.  This gives both UKWSL and our customer the ability to analyse trends and create projects designed to minimise the impact we have on the environment.

UKWSL’s total waste management solution is one of the key reasons why our customers chose us. We deliver a one stop shop for all of their service and compliance needs, whilst providing simplicity and visibility of all services and the associated environmental performance information.

For more information on UKWSL and the services we provide please visit www.ukwsl.co.uk.