Mechline’s Waste²O organic food waste bio-digester is proving a major success story for The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, one of the top 10% best performing Trusts in the UK, which has cut its utilities bill by a whopping £13,900 per annum since adopting the system.
The din of macerators chomping up large quantities of food waste generated by the kitchens at the Freeman Hospital at High Heaton was truly deafening according to Catering Manager Geoff Moyle – and that was just one reason to look at getting rid of them.
Sending the waste to landfill was never an option due to escalating disposal costs, environmental concerns and pressure from the Government to find ways of diverting more food waste out of the residual waste stream.
The Trust takes its environmental responsibilities very seriously, recycling a wide range of materials including paper, batteries, polystyrene, pallets and garden waste. The small income generated from the recycling of cardboard, printer cartridges/toners and scrap metal goes to offset the cost of this type of waste disposal.
A trip organised by the NHS National Performance Advisory Group (NPAG) to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital for a talk on waste management opened Geoff’s eyes to a viable solution in the form of Mechline’s Waste²O bio digester. Perusing the accompanying leaflet, Geoff was impressed by how Waste²O eliminated the need for maceration by using enzymes to totally digest organic food waste and turn it to grey water that can harmlessly run down the drain for subsequent recycling by the local water authority.
After researching Waste²O thoroughly, the decision was made to install two units – and happily consign the noisy macerators to history.
Waste²O is entirely silent in operation as the naturally occurring bacteria quietly gets to work digesting the food and turning it into water. “The macerators could be deafening with us having to wear ear-defenders and everyone shouting above all the kitchen noise to be heard. Now we can speak at a normal level,” says Geoff.
And it soon became clear the units would pay for themselves very quickly because they use just 5% of the macerators’ water consumption giving the hospital bottom line savings that the Trust estimates at approx. £13,900 per annum. This is before any other savings (such as service of the macerators and fuel costs) were taken into account. “The machines were installed in 2012 and we paid for them in two years, which now means for the lifetime of the machines, they are technically free.
“Changeover from the old system was trouble-free as installation of the units simply meant siting them by the drains and plugging them into a 13 amp socket.” says Geoff.
“I am really impressed with Waste²O as it digests anything a person can but in larger quantities, and safely. It is also efficient, environmentally friendly and easy for staff to operate. I have no hesitation in recommending Waste²O to any large commercial kitchen.”
Ian Cresswell, Business Development Director at Mechline, says: “Waste²O is a simple and scalable solution which can handle any quantity of soft food waste and digest it onsite meaning you are left with no collection or landfill charges for the food waste that Waste²O digests.
“Mechline has taken the principles of food waste one step further by developing the Food Waste Reduction Programme that highlights clearly and simply how to prevent food waste and reduce the amount going to landfill. The concept illustrates how food waste can be better managed and reduced in a circular way often times by reducing food wastage at source.”
Find out more about Waste²O.