Food waste management in the healthcare sector: Progress towards waste reduction targets! The “Circular Economy for Food at French Hospitals” project or MECAHF (Modèle d’Économie Circulaire Alimentaire pour les Hôpitaux Français) began on Friday 14 September 2018. With funding from the Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation, this project was developed by HCWH Europe in collaboration with the Hospital Centre (CH) of Niort.
The first goal of the project is to reduce food waste by 20% in 3 years, and to increase the proportion of healthy and sustainable food as part of the overall food procurement by at least 10% at CH Niort. Additionally, the MECAHF project aims to obtain quantitative and qualitative data on the reduction of hospital food waste – something of a novelty in France. The central kitchen of CH Niort annually produces and distributes 840,000 meals to patients and health professionals.
The hospital’s first steps were to conduct baseline measurements of waste in several locations on site: the general hospital, the catering unit, and the mother-child centre. Out of the 2,500kg of total waste, a 130kg sample was taken for analysis.
The waste was sorted as follows:
- Household waste
- Recyclable waste
By sorting the waste from different services, the hospital can begin to understand the composition of its waste and to count the proportion of fermentable refuse contained within.
Importantly, before starting the measurements, this project was presented to employees of the central food production unit of the hospital so that they were familiar with the projects actions and goals.
The MECAHF project will continue at CH Niort until 2020. To keep up to date with the project, please sign up for our newsletter here or contact us here to find out more or to register your interest in joining future MECAHF meetings and events.