Food waste recycling extended to Mount Vernon

Date published: 30 July 2021

Our Trust wastes very little food. In fact, uneaten food is put to a creative use that might raise the question whether it is ‘wasted’ at all.

Anything left over from the three food streams at Hillingdon Hospital - patient meals, food outlets (Choices, Bevans) and the kitchen – is put into special collection tubs lined with biodegradable bags. They are then collected by our contractor, Veolia, and sent for anaerobic digestion, a process that turns the waste into energy and produces a compost bi-product.

Crucially, it saves us money because the fee for this disposal method is a lot less than the landfill charges we would otherwise pay if we simply threw all our food out. In any case, we are now a ‘zero-to-landfill’ Trust, and all our waste is put to an alternative use.

We will shortly extend the food waste recycling process to Mount Vernon, and all site occupants have bought in, including all our tenants.

Our Sustainability Team is now looking into ways to reduce food waste even further, by addressing oversupply in the first place, and they have been working closely with Facilities Catering to see what can be done.

Sustainability Manager, Hyder Mohammad, said: “Making sure we gain maximum benefit from the food that, unfortunately, we have to throw out, is central to our sustainability strategy, and I’m delighted we will shortly be doing this at both of our hospitals.

“I’d like to thank Anne Byrne and her team for their collaboration and hard work to ensure this part of our Trust’s overall sustainability package is put into place.”

Our waste cooking oil also goes to a good home – literally, because it is collected and used by a charity called Yateley Industries, who turn it into biofuel, which helps to support their small community of service users, who have additional needs.