Providing help and care to former seafarers, The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society runs Belvedere House, a residential and nursing care home, as well as sheltered housing flats, near Banstead in Surrey.
A registered charity, which celebrated its 150th anniversary this year, it offers support to a broad cross-section of seafarers, including those with backgrounds in the Royal and Merchant Navies, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and fishing fleets.
Situated within the grounds of the Weston Acres Estate, Belvedere House has 68 beds and there are also 25 sheltered housing flats.
Waste management and recycling is the responsibility of estates manager, Richard Condie, and just under a year ago, he decided this could be done much more effectively if all the different waste streams were collected by just one provider – Grundon Waste Management.
Given the nature of the Society’s work in caring for elderly residents, of particular importance is clinical waste, items such as incontinence pads, sanitary wear, dressings and sharps.
“We have always known that we should do our best to recycle where possible and we originally chose to work with Grundon because they offered us the best service for our general waste and recycling,” said Richard.
“In November last year, we realised it would be far simpler if we also used Grundon’s clinical waste service and it worked well straight away. We have easily identifiable bins for clinical and offensive waste and our staff all know what they are doing, plus our account manager Lisa is very proactive in helping us with any queries.”
Richard says streamlining the collection service has had a number of benefits, including ease of communication if additional collections or changes need to be arranged, as well as improvements in administration.
“Knowing that waste transfer notes and all the other records we need around waste disposal are dealt with under one roof by Grundon is much better and simpler, rather than having to deal with three or four different suppliers, which is what we were doing before,” he continued.
Keen to push recycling up the agenda, Richard says that as the Society’s awareness of legislation increased, they were able to incorporate services such as Grundon’s Haz-Box, container, which is small enough to fit inside a cupboard and is ideal for the disposal of hazardous waste items, such as aerosols and light bulbs.
With its own kitchens, all food for residents is cooked on site and Richard also made food waste recycling a priority. All excess or waste food is now segregated and disposed of into small food waste bins, before being decanted into larger dedicated sealed wheelie bins ready for collection and transportation to Anaerobic Digestion (AD) facilities where it is used to generate renewable energy and create bio-fertiliser.
Staff and residents of both the nursing home and the sheltered flats have, he said, been keen to embrace the recycling message.
“Most people were aware that recycling was something they should be doing, but there was a degree of education in terms of explaining what could and couldn’t be recycled,” he added.
“Now, everyone finds it much easier and we’re pleased with the service.”
Lisa Hawson from the clinical waste team at Grundon, said helping Richard and his colleagues to bring clinical waste under one roof had been an easy task.
“They were all quite up to speed on issues around waste segregation and I was able to support the move across to Grundon, ensuring there were no problems and that it all went very smoothly,” said Lisa. “The benefits of bringing all the collection services under one roof have made a real difference and we were pleased to be able to help.”
The Society, which is incorporated under a Royal Charter, was established in 1865 and in July its patron, HRH the Princess Royal made a special visit to tour its newly refurbished facilities, meeting staff, volunteers and residents before presenting the charity with a new Royal Charter.
HRH the Princess Royal made a special visit to Belvedere House, meeting staff, volunteers and residents before presenting the charity with a new Royal Charter
For more information, visit www.royalalfredseafarers.com
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