Skip to content

From table to compost

Serco are continually looking at ways to reduce our waste as part of our goal to divert 90 percent of waste from landfill for Serco controlled sites by 2030.

Our Waste Management Team at Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH) who have improved the management the organic waste left over from patient catering.

Two male employees standing behind food organic bins smiling at the camera

Historically, food waste at FSH was disposed of with the general waste, which ends up in landfill, rots and produces methane — a greenhouse gas even more potent than carbon dioxide. Recognising this as an opportunity to reduce the hospital’s impact on the environment, our team set out to find an alternate solution.

Our team worked with the South Metropolitan Health Service (SMHS) to create a dedicated food organics recycling stream at FSH, diverting tonnes of food waste from landfill, and reducing carbon emissions.

Now, after a meal service, food is separated by the catering staff into either organic bins or general waste. Any food items, whether in packaging or on its own, can go into the organics bin.

The bins are then stored in the waste management unit, with sub-contractor collections taking place every weekday. These are then taken to a composting facility for further processing.

This initiative has highlighted the shear amount of food that goes to waste. Since the program was introduced in March 2023, the team have collected just over 60,000kg of organic waste that would have otherwise been disposed of. This is close to 50% of kitchen waste now being diverted from landfill.

As a result, changes are being made in the catering department with regards to what is put on a patient’s tray, and what can be stored in the pantries on a ward level and given out on request.

The non-perishable items from patient trays are donated to OzHarvest who in turn give the food to local schools and those in need.

The scheme was recognised as a finalist for Project of the Year, in the 2023 Institute of Hospitality in Healthcare (IHHC) Excellence Awards.

In 2024 we are expanding the scheme to include other areas within the hospital including hospitality vendors.

More environment initiatives