South Wales company Thermal Compaction Group and the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board partners are celebrating another landmark achievement for the world first Sterimelt recycling machine.
TCG were shortlisted as finalists for the prestigious Lord Carter Innovation Award at the Hospital Innovations Exhibition and Conference which was staged at London’s Olympia Arena this week.
And there is the prospect of another award in May for the machine which is currently in use in Newport and servicing the Royal Gwent and St Woolos Hospitals. The partners have also had instrumental help from the Wales-based Bevan Commission in getting the project off the ground.
The Aneurin Bevan University Health Board covers the South East Wales area and have partnered with Cardiff-based business TCG to install a Sterimelt machine full time at St Woolos Hospital last November.
The machine takes clinical wrap, used in operating theatres, which is normally incinerated at a cost to the Health Board, and turns it into recycled polypropylene blocks which can be manufactured into new products such as tables, chairs or a whole host of other products.
Mr Peter White, the Waste and Environmental Manager for the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, and his colleague Mr Chris Davies, the Board’s Energy and Environmental Officer, spoke at the conference about the machine and had a great reception.
Mr White said of the partnership and the nomination:
“It has been a really good partnership right from day one. It is a world first innovation with a Welsh company and a Welsh health board.
“The nomination as a finalist means we have that recognition. It was a UK-wide event and for a Welsh health board and Welsh company to be a finalist in something like this is tremendous.”
After year-long trials, the machine has been working at St Woolos Hospital for five months now and Mr White said:
“It is going very well. We now have a full-time operative who is funded via the Bevan Commission and he is optimising the process.
“I think there are opportunities for further collaborations and partnerships with TCG. We are looking at a mass melt machine now for our laundry at Llanfrechfra Grange Hospital (Cwmbran) and there are a few energy projects we are looking at with them so the future is really bright.”
TCG marketing and sales director Thomas Davison-Sebry said to be a finalist for the Lord Carter Innovation Award was a huge achievement for them.
Mr Davison-Sebry said:
“We are very excited by it. This is a large industry to get into but, as a new company, it is great and an honour to be a finalist for such a prestigious award.”
The National Health Service Trust in Wolverhampton won the award for an initiative involving real-time tracking services within the health industry. But they are a very big public sector service which makes the partnership achievement between TCG and the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board against stiff opposition even more impressive.
Mr Davison-Sebry added:
“It has been massive to work with Aneurin Bevan. At first, we were unsure how it was going to go with working with a public body because this was new to us but again it is incredible.
“We have come up against small issues but we have worked together as a team, accomplished and addressed all the issues and come up with a fully commercialised machine.”
The partnership is now turning a waste product which needed to be incinerated or put into landfill at a cost to the health board into a way of putting money back into the NHS.
Mr Davison-Sebry added:
“It is really changing the mindsets of people and people are really starting to see the benefits of the machine and what it can offer them.”
TCG also have a huge presence on social media and a downloadable mobile app.