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Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH) operates services in 260 locations across Rotherham, Doncaster, North Lincolnshire, North-East Lincolnshire and Manchester. They employ over 4,300 staff and have more than 200 committed volunteers, with around 115,000 people accessing their services each year.
"ReFood offered us a chance to see just how much food waste we were generating – and the savings in water, sewerage and maintenance charges more than pay for the disposal. It is too early to evaluate actual savings but we think it will be significant.

The initial reason I looked at this was from an environmental point of view, but I think of that now as more of a bonus than a driver."
Ian Higgins, Environment and Waste Manager, NHS (RDaSH)

They disposed of their food waste using a process known as maceration. This involves chopping the food up and then flushing it down the drain. Aside from the negative environmental impact, macerating units are costly to run and drains can become blocked. Macerators have recently been banned in Scotland and the water industry trade association Water UK is lobbying for a halt on their use in England and Wales.


Seeking to lead the way in the recycling of food waste within the NHS, RDaSH arranged for a tour of the ReFood plant. Following this, we were asked to establish a collection service across most hospital sites and due to the initial success is being implemented at all site where feasible in the near future. We are pleased to say the macerators are now being phased out and the NHS (RDaSH) have made considerable financial savings.

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