The Challenge

The NHS is one the largest producers of waste in the country and to tackle this, NHS England is challenging all care providers to dispose of its waste in a safe, efficient and sustainable way.

It sounds simple, but in reality, it’s a challenging task for the NHS, which provides a vast number of services that result in different types of waste, requiring different methods of treatment to ensure safety, across multiple sites, with varying capacity to effectively store waste while awaiting the correct disposal.

The reality is to meet the targets set by NHS England, an informed waste strategy is needed, which is where our Sustainable Healthcare Recycling & Waste Management framework agreement comes in. Our innovative approach to procuring waste management services is already having an impact with Trusts nationally, who are benefiting from the new scope of this framework agreement, and the wraparound procurement resource and expertise we can offer.

Here’s how Barts Health NHS Trust achieved the early wins and long-term sustainability benefits, something that you can achieve too, with our support should you need it.

Blue Recycling Bin in Hospital Corridor
Closeup portrait woman hand throwing crumpled paper in recycling bin.

A highly detailed specialist waste consultancy benchmarking exercise, commissioned by Barts Health NHS Trust, supplied the Trust with crucial data that presented opportunities to make significant improvements.

This formed the basis of the Trust’s new Waste & Re-Use Strategy, which was approved by the Trust’s Green Plan Delivery Oversight Group following consultation across the Trust.

The Solution

Recognising the value of working collaboratively, Barts Health NHS Trust joined forces with our team, utilising the added procurement resource structure provided by our organisation as a framework agreement provider, to translate its new waste strategy into a procurement exercise that would deliver the desired transformation.

We embarked on developing a new, genuinely sustainable, and future-proofed framework agreement, which aimed to optimise resource utilisation and streamline processes, offering the right solution to support not only Barts Health NHS Trust, but the wider NHS too.

The Result

  • Increased recycling rates from 11% to over 30% after only 10 weeks, and they are on target for a 55% recycling rate by 2028 that will make the Trust the best performing in the country. The improved rates have been primarily driven by:
    • Introducing a new dedicated ‘Dry Mixed Recycling’ (DMR) service
    • A new re-usable sharps and pharmaceuticals container service to replace the existing single use rigid plastic containers that are incinerated
    • Waste auditing team driving and ensuring waste segregation compliance
  • 24% financial savings – resulted in a revenue run rate reduction saving of c.£1.2 million (or 24%) annually
  • A reduction of c.500 tonnes carbon dioxide emission, helping the Trust meet its Net Zero carbon emission target
  • Delivery of an anticipated £3.1 million in social value over four years, which represents 25% of the financial value of the main contracts

To find out how our team can support you, whether as an individual Trust, or as an ICS, get in touch using the form below.


“A number of colleagues across the NHS SBS team, under Emma Clyne’s amazing stewardship, delivered the Sustainable Healthcare Recycling & Waste Management framework agreement through which the Trust was able to issue call-off contracts to meet its varied requirements. Within weeks of implementing the new arrangements, we achieved a HCSA Excellence in Supply Award, which is testament to the success of the partnership.

NHS SBS is renowned for putting public sector frameworks in place and have in-house and very credible commercial and procurement law teams. These skills have been brought to bear on setting up a compliant and commercially robust framework, which includes a full review of the call-off documents.”

Clyde Castelino
Procurement Specialist
Barts Health NHS Trust

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    Sustainable Healthcare Recycling
    Sustainable Healthcare Recycling & Waste Management

    Our Sustainable Healthcare Recycling & Waste Management Framework Agreement supports you to achieve clinical waste segregation targets of 20:20:60 by 2026 through a range of new services such as waste consultancy to support your plan, and implement your sustainable waste strategy, as well as waste re-use services, and new state-of-the-art technological solutions for on-site waste management including:

    • Pyrolysis, where heating material to a high temperature without oxygen releases the energy trapped inside it, which can then be used to heat the hospital estate.
    • Aerobic bio-digesters, a form of on-site accelerated composting, which can significantly reduce food waste taken off-site.
    • Microwave treatment, using a heat source to decontaminate various types of medical waste, which can then be managed without high-heat incineration.

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