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Care firm pioneers company-wide recycling scheme

One of the UK’s largest private care providers The Regard Group has launched an initiative to recycle half of the waste it produces.

The Regard Group, which provides supported living, residential and day services for people with learning difficulties and mental health needs, is hoping to increase recycling by 50% in 6 months.

“In the past we used different bin providers across the country,” said Regard’s building compliance officer, Stuart Cockle, who heads the efficiency drive. “We are now able to rationalise this by going through one central procurement point.”

Regard is working with national waste management company UKWSL who took over all bin collections at the group’s residential care homes, offices and some supported living services in January.

“UKWSL will be auditing the sites to confirm what, and how much, is being thrown away,” added Stuart. “They will then analyse the waste amount based on the occupancy of each service so we can see where recycling could be increased. 

“Recycling is roughly 70 per cent cheaper than general waste in terms of collection charges which means there will be economic benefits as well as environmental.”

Meanwhile, Regard is hoping to introduce a number of incentives to spur on staff and the people they support, to get on board; including the introduction of a Recycler of the Month award.

Winchester House, a residential care home run by the Regard Group in Sheerness, is already cutting back on waste that is destined for landfill.  

Regard GroupThe service, which provides a home for up to 12 individuals, currently fills two x 1,100 litre recycling bins for every 1,100 general waste bins.

“Recycling is very much part of our daily lives,” said home manager Lisa Falconer. “We now think twice when it comes to sorting the waste matter we generate. I am delighted with the new initiative we’re now embracing as this will reduce the negative impact on the natural environment.”

On average each person in England and Wales produces nearly 500kg of household waste a year, with food waste making up the majority of this.

Winchester House provides a 24-hour residential home for adults with learning disabilities, mental health, autistic spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, and epilepsy.

The UKWSL contract with the Regard Group encompasses all waste: general, offensive, sharps, sanitary and recycling. Regard hopes to include food waste recycling collection in the future.

Roland Archer, sales director of UKWSL, said:

“We are excited to be working with the Regard Group across their estate, and feel extremely confident that we can support them in their drive to become a greener, more sustainable business over the coming years. Engaging their employees at every level is an integral part of this initiative and one where we feel we can add significant value.”

The Regard Group is the UK’s fourth largest private organisation providing supported living and residential services for people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and acquired brain injury, caring for more than 1,300 people, with a dedicated staff of over 2,600 people working at 161 locations throughout the UK.

For further information about the Regard Group visit: www.regard.co.uk or to contact Winchester house on 01795 871160.

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