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News - January 2019
Care homes could save up to 45% on waste management costs by adopting more-efficient strategies.
Anenta Waste has predicted massive savings are possible across the sector if some of the current stumbling blocks are addressed.
Anenta’s own work with UK care homes has highlighted that the majority of individual properties have outdated contracts which are subject to annual price increases and which are often incorrectly specified.
This means they are paying for waste management services which are either not fit for purpose financially, or do not deliver the specific requirements.
Categorisation of waste is also an issue that needs to be addressed.
Managing director of Anenta, Graham Flynn, told hdm: “Many care homes still operate on the premise that all waste is infectious.
“The reality is that a significant percentage of care home waste could be categorised as ‘potentially infectious’, or ‘offensive’.
“Through more-accurate categorisation, and by dealing more effectively with waste such as ‘sharps’, the cost of disposal could be reduced dramatically.”
And, if care homes joined forces, they could bring down the price of services even further.
Flynn said: “The volume of waste generated by care homes is often relatively small in comparison to an NHS trust, but most continue to procure services on an individual basis.
“This presents a significant opportunity, not only to reduce operating costs by leveraging the total volumes, but to create a level playing field and reduce the final price paid.
“This requires a collaborative procurement process which would be a relatively-simple one to implement.
“Individuals within each care home group simply need to liaise with each other.”
Beyond the challenges relating specifically to the specification and delivery of waste management contracts, recent analysis by Anenta has highlighted that many operators do not have a waste policy in place or any supporting documentation. This severely limits their ability to train their staff and further pushes up the price of services.
To help tackle these challenges, Anenta recently invested more than £1m developing a proprietary online waste management platform.
Flynn said: “Rather than focusing on the short-term contract changes which may appear to offer an immediate solution; managers should be seeking to develop the appropriate documentation, drive behavioural change in staff, and create a new long-term strategy to ensure services are procured effectively, specified accurately and delivered efficiently.”
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