Spotlight On – Thiruvilan Arakkonam Mohan

Posted by Devon Partnership Trust in News on 21st June, 2023

To celebrate National Healthcare Estates and Facilities Day, we spoke to Thiruvilan Arakkonam Mohan, Waste and Transport Manager, about the main purpose of his role, his career path and what motivates him.

What is the main purpose of your role? And what does a typical day look like?

I have an important responsibility to ensure that all healthcare waste generated by DPT is managed safely and responsibly. This is crucial to the health and safety of healthcare workers, patients and the general public, as well as the protection of the environment. My role includes:

  • Developing and implementing waste management policies and procedures that comply with relevant regulations and standards
  • Providing training to staff on proper waste handling, segregation and disposal practices
  • Conducting waste audits and assessments to identify opportunities for waste reduction, improved waste segregation, and more efficient waste management
  • Ensuring that all healthcare waste is collected and transported safely and in compliance with regulations
  • Effectively managing the non-patient fleet of vehicles for staff and goods enables me to optimise vehicle utilisation, control costs, ensure regulatory compliance, and provide a reliable and efficient transportation service. By carefully tracking vehicle usage, implementing cost-saving measures, staying up-to-date with legal requirements, and maintaining a well-maintained fleet, I can maximise productivity, minimise expenses, and meet the transportation needs.

What qualifications and training do you have? And what career paths have you taken?

I have a background in chemical engineering and several years of experience in waste management, specifically in handling solid, liquid and gaseous wastes.

I hold a recognised chartership from the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) and I have a membership with the National Performance Advisory Group (NPAG). This allows me to deliver solutions to any type of waste problem. In my previous role as Senior Manager Process Development for GEA power plants cooling system, I gained valuable experience in decision-making processes.

What are your current priorities? 

My current priorities revolve around several key areas: plans to achieve Net Zero targets, improve key performance indicators, deliver waste and environmental awareness training programmes, health and safety, and check for regulatory compliance. I am continuously exploring innovative waste reduction methods and sustainability ideas. This involves conducting waste audits and collaborating with different stakeholders.

What are some of the challenges you face in this role? 

In this role, some of the challenges I encounter include:

  • Staying up-to-date with compliance and regulations, as well as the latest technology in waste management and sustainable practices
  • Improving waste minimisation and recycling
  • Managing hazardous waste
  • Balancing cost considerations and waste management objectives can require creative solutions and efficient resource allocation

Addressing these challenges often involves collaboration with various stakeholders, including government bodies, waste management companies, employees, and the community. It requires continuous learning, adaptation to evolving regulations, and taking a proactive approach to sustainable waste management practices and transport.

What do you enjoy most about this role? And what motivates you?

What I enjoy most about this role is the opportunity to problem solve. My background knowledge in chemical engineering helps me deliver solutions to problems on a daily basis. It is my passion for waste management which keeps me motivated all the time.

What achievement are you most proud of? 

I am proud of obtaining an International Patent on Leather Waste to value-added products. This accomplishment, which I completed 16 years ago, involved predicting the importance of sustainability, environmental awareness, and converting several waste into valuable products. This is now considered an important topic everywhere around the world.

I am also a recipient of a Zero Waste Award from LETSRECYCLE. Out of 500 participating companies, I came fourth where I introduced zero waste packaging on takeaway food and implemented successfully the Deposit Return Scheme.

What's the best bit of feedback you have received from a service user or colleague?  

The most memorable feedback I received was from the Head of Engineering at GEA Cooling Tower Technologies Pvt Ltd, where I previously worked. He said: “Your strategic thinking and persistence played a key role in securing this big project, and we are grateful for your contributions."  

What do you do to unwind? 

I’ve recently started practising meditation and yoga which allows me to relax.

And finally… how would you sum up your role in one word? 

‘Passifiency’ – a combination of two words; passion and efficiency!