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Clever recycling means plants in bins are helping hospitals go greener

It was less ‘potluck’ and more ‘pots of choice’ at our Trust’s latest plant sale.

The Sustainability Team laid on a superb array of plants and pots on the lawn at The Furze building at Hillingdon Hospital to help make us a greener, more sustainable Trust and raise cash for our charity.

Bins and blooms! Plant sale at Hillingdon Hospital helps cut waste and also helps Trust charity (youtube.com)

The lawn was turned into a popup garden centre complete with surplus metal and plastic bins, bags of compost, gravel, a hose for watering and a gazebo, plus a brilliant selection of plants for staff to buy.

The idea is that the traditional metal and plastic bins are no longer needed in offices, wards, and departments. Instead, as the Trust’s two hospitals – Hillingdon and Mount Vernon - move towards fewer ‘black bag’ bins and more recycling receptacles, the old bins can be repurposed as plant pots.

Offices, wards and departments are supplied with a smaller number of recycling and black bag bins, and staff are encouraged to separate waste, put as little as possible to landfill and recycle as much as they can, such as paper, plastic, glass and coffee cups. Staff are also asked to contact the Sustainability Team in order to have their traditional bins replaced.

The Sustainability Team buys the plants, the compost and gravel and has a ready supply of scores of old bins. Some of these are destined to return to offices around the hospital, because for a small sum, staff get to walk away with a beautiful plant, and many now decorate offices and staff rooms. Staff can add a donation for the Trust charity, and many did.

There was a steady stream of customers on a blisteringly hot day. The sale made £382, ensuring a generous donation to our charity, after costs are deducted.

Hyder Mohammad, the Trust’s sustainability lead, said the sale – the second we have held – was a great success. “We sold around 45 plants, raised some funds and - just as importantly - raised awareness of our continuing efforts to reduce waste, increase recycling and help our Trust get to net zero carbon emissions.

“Thank you to everyone who supported this effort. With a little bit of effort and separation of your office waste, you are really making a difference and helping us to be greener.”

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