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Creating a new NHS England: NHS England and NHS Digital merged on 1 February 2023. More about the merger.

NHS Digital continues to manage and prioritise its waste management in accordance with DEFRA's guidance on waste hierarchy. Broadly, NHS Digital’s waste is split into 2 categories:

  • estates waste generated from our offices
  • ICT waste generated from networks, infrastructure and hardware associated with our digital services and operations

The 2 sources of waste are managed collectively by our Estates and ICT teams, as well as associated third party specialist waste contractors and suppliers.

In 2021-22, NHS Digital produced 102 tonnes of waste overall, equating to 4.1 metric tonnes CO2e.

96% of NHS Digital’s waste was diverted away from landfill to a sustainable waste stream

31% was incinerated to generate energy and 65% was recycled or reused

Case study 1: ICT waste

NHS Digital adopts waste hierarchy standards and best practice across its operations. This is particularly important for our ICT waste management where we employ specialist contractors and continuously strive to work with our supply chain to ensure that as much of our waste as possible is reused or recycled. 

In 2021-22, NHS Digital’s ICT waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) contractor reported that less than 0.5% of NHS Digital’s ICT WEEE collections that they had responsibility for went to landfill, resulting in:


  • 2644 tonnes of CO2e emissions saved through reuse
  • 9.4 tonnes of CO2e emissions saved through recycling
  • 13424 kg of ICT assets diverted from landfill

In 2021-22, NHS Digital processed 3,456 end-of-life assets. 100% of which avoided landfill:

NHS Digital considers all available routes for devices that are no longer required. In 2021-22, this included:

95 Microsoft Surface Pro 4 tablets donated to charity

436 old mobile phones sold to NHS Digital employees

580 mobile devices returned to phone providers for recycling

Case study 2: Trevelyan Square dilapidation

Between April and June 2021, NHS Digital exited from its offices at 1 Trevelyan Square in Leeds as part of the consolidation of our Leeds estate to the new government BREEAM offices at 7-8 Wellington Place. 

Image of staff meeting in Leeds hub


NHS Digital appointed contractors who specialised in the upcycling and repurposing of office furniture and utilised the existing WEEE waste contractors employed by NHS Digital’s Tech Services team to manage all ICT waste associated with the project. This conscious decision taken by NHS Digital’s Facilities and Estates team enabled them to meet their objective to dispose of all associated waste ethically and responsibly, resulting in 0% of waste from this exit going to landfill. 

3,250+ items were reused or recycled to avoid landfill:


desks and tables


seating units


storage units


miscellaneous items


electrical items


tonnes of CO2e GHG emissions saved due to direct reuse and recycling

The appointment of specialist contractors meant we were able to make full use of all types of recycling appropriate for the redundant or damaged materials on site:

For furniture and equipment that was still usable, charitable donations were made to local schools, pre-school nurseries, the Samaritans, and Home-Start.

Equipment was also offered to NHS Digital staff members and contracted workers, with 166 items, including microwaves, fridges, and furniture, going to 22 members of staff.

The repurposing and removal of Trevelyan Square’s ICT kit was completed with 100% avoidance of landfill:

Last edited: 11 November 2022 1:49 pm