After years of complaints from local residents, the City Hospital has only just stopped burning coal. That follows a campaign backed by Nottingham Friends of the Earth. This is one of the last coal-fired boilers in the city.
Back in 2001 the City had to declare an air quality management area around the hospital because of sulphur dioxide emissions. That was reduced to legal levels in 2007. But the 43 year old boiler continued to spew out dust and grit over surrounding houses – and, when the wind came from the East, over the hospital site itself!
The City’s Environmental Health Department was not able to stop it – because small furnaces are allowed to emit a certain level of grit and dust!
The hospital eventually met residents in July 2017 and agreed to switch to gas boilers, using additional temporary gas boilers in winter if necessary. A new more efficient system will not be in place until July 2020. But the hospital has circulated a leaflet to residents and is sending weekly emails to keep people informed.
It claims that the coal-fired boiler was finally shut down on 11 August 2017 and will now only be used in emergencies.
Although the hospital has been discussing low carbon solutions for the last ten years it is only recently that funding has been found from the Carbon & Energy Fund to invest in better energy conservation and a more efficient heating system.
The hospital has promised to organise a follow-up meeting in November.