Waste, Waste, Waste

Image of Derriford Waste Management Solutions (DWMS)

Take a look inside Derriford Waste Management Solutions (DWMS)

Have you ever wondered what happens to waste in the hospital? And what we do with all that energy generated from burning rubbish?

Now is your chance to go behind the scenes at Derriford Hospital’s very own incinerator, Derriford Waste Management Solutions (DWMS) and see for yourselves.

On the tour (see below for booking details) you will see how the machinery works, how the rubbish we burn contributes to heating our hospital, and what happens to the leftover ash and crumpled metal once it’s been through the incinerator.

In addition, the hospital tries to recycle as much as possible and ensure waste is disposed of appropriately. Benefits from targeted segregation means only hazardous waste and general waste will be incinerated, and recycling such as cardboard, paper, cans, plastic bottles etc. can be sold to generate revenue.

A few interesting facts about our incinerator:

  • The incinerator is hospital owned and although one was built at the same time as the main hospital, the incinerator as we know it today was built in 1996.
  • A tonne of waste produces 10% of waste ash and crumpled metal.
  • The average temperature of the incinerator is normally 1200°c but can go as high as 1800°c.
  • All bin bags have waste ties which are barcoded so they know which department the waste has come from.
  • We shred all of our confidential waste on site.
  • Metal instruments can often be seen in amongst ash, even after incineration.
Image of incinerated instruments

Some instruments are so strong that they survive the incinerator

Want to find out more, then book onto one of our tours, via the Open Day app. Each tour lasts approximately 30 minutes and they are held at the following times:

  • 10.30
  • 11.30
  • 12.30
  • 13.30

The groups are a maximum of ten, so we advise you download our free Open Day app and reserve a space in advance to avoid disappointment (there will be a very limited number of spaces available on the day).

Kirsty Wavish


Download our free Open Day app here

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