Water and Waste

Water usage and waste are very visible impacts of the care we provide at BWC NHS on the environment.


We use a lot water. Whilst this does result in carbon emissions due to energy used in processing and transporting water, they are not a major part of our footprint.

However, water management is important, particularly as it will become an increasingly scarce resource as our climate changes.

It is important that we do use sufficient water for flushing of pipes and fittings to avoid Legionella and Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, so saving water must not undermine our water safety plan.

That doesn't mean there aren't opportunities to achieve the requirements of our safety flushing programme using less water.

A surgeon washing their hands


We generate clinical and non-clinical waste, and disposing of these results in carbon emissions. We have introduced new waste streams which allow materials not requiring high temperature clinical disposal to be disposed of with lower carbon emissions.

We send no waste to landfill, with non-recycled commercial waste being incinerated for energy-recovery.

However, reducing the amount of waste we dispose of in the first place is clearly better, as is creating 'circular economies' where we reuse or repurpose, rather than dispose.

What we've done

  • Our energy manager also has responsibility to investigate water tracking technologies, and manages day to day water saving schemes.
  • Zero waste sent to landfill, with offensive waste sent to energy recovery.
  • Implemented re-usable sharps containers at BWH
  • Set up waste and water working groups to investigate and deliver actions.

What we're doing

  • Understanding how we can use less water and products in the first place.
  • Improving our tracking and management of water usage.
  • Investigating use of rainwater and sustainable drainage.
  • Increasing our recycling within staff areas of the hospitals.
  • Including waste management as part of mandatory training.
  • Investigating opportunities for reusable clinical PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
  • Fulfilling our pledge to eliminate single-use plastic by 2025