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'Low-flush toilets' in health department as part of green drive

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The toilets use less water

The toilets use less water

The toilets use less water

Health officials in Dublin are using "low-flush toilets" with filtered rainwater as part of their drive to go green and tackle climate change.

A report from the Department of Health, which moved over a year ago to the Miesian Plaza, a modern office building on Baggot Street, said it has a "green team" in place to cultivate habits among staff to save the planet.

"All toilets are low-flush and use between three and four litres per flush, and as with all hand basins they're sensor-operated, which further reduces waste and usage," it said.

Older toilets can use more than 13 litres of water.

Rain water collection tanks in the basement and variable speed booster pumps can distribute filtered rainwater for toilet-flushing and irrigation.

The department has imposed a ban on desk bins, and centralised recycling bin facilities on each floor were introduced.

"This has seen a reduction in the purchase, use and disposal of over 78,000 bin liners being sent to landfill," it said.

The purchase and use of all single-use plastic cups, packaging and cutlery has been eliminated from its headquarters and replaced with either recyclable or compostable alternatives.

"Our restaurant provider is the first caterer to achieve a three-star rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association for on-site food service," the department said.

The department removed personal heaters and fans and it has automated lights in areas of lower footfall.

"The decommissioning of our previous premises in Hawkins House resulted in our energy consumption being reduced and our energy efficiency improving above the Government target set at 33pc," it said.

Footprint

The department is also aiming to reduce its carbon footprint, and staff are already required to take public transport where possible, and all foreign travel must be approved in advance of booking.

The department also has access to two electric vehicle charging points in the car park to facilitate the use of electric cars.

It has an in-house bike hall and showering facilities to encourage staff to cycle.

The report said that since it moved to its new build- ing from Hawkins House in the city centre, "the department has reduced the number of printers in use from 300- plus to 18".