Grampians Health actively contributes to environmental sustainability during National Recycling Week
17 November 2023
Grampians Health officially launched the PVC Recycling in Hospitals Program at its Stawell Campus this National Recycling Week (November 13-19) as part the healthcare service’s responsibility and commitment to environmental sustainability.
As part of the program, PVC medical products such as Baxter IV bags, oxygen face masks and oxygen tubing will be safely recycled and transformed into new products. By safely recycling and repurposing these materials, Grampians Health aims to make a significant reduction in the amount of medical waste destined for landfills.
Director Engineering Darryn Wardle said Grampians Health was committed to fostering sustainable practices and making a positive impact on the environment through initiatives like the PVC Recycling in Hospitals Program.
He said he was thrilled the program had now been implemented at the Stawell campus as plastics were a large percentage of the hospital’s general waste.
“Clinical Nurse Specialist Belinda Reading reached out to Acting Environmental & Sustainability Coordinator Sam Harris to ask how Stawell could be part of the PVC Recycling in Hospitals Program,” Mr Wardle said.
“We have this week commenced trialling the PVC recycling in the theatre at our Stawell campus to ascertain quantity and to imbed the correct process before expanding the program into the Stawell Urgent Care department.
“Belinda is an integral part of this program and with her enthusiasm to help care for the environment, I’m confident the program will be a success at Stawell.”
Mr Wardle said Belinda would regularly weigh the recycled PVC to help measure the program’s success over the coming months.
Ms Reading said she was pleased to play a role in helping to implement the PVC Recycling in Hospitals Program alongside Ms Harris.
“The program was introduced two weeks ago at the Stawell campus and I’m pleased to say during that time we have already saved 5.9 kg of plastics from going to land fill,” Ms Reading said.
“We are also exploring a series of other initiatives including recycling items from the perioperative area, for example e-waste in the form of diathermy and electrical leads.
“We are also planning to help decrease the use of single-use patient belongings bags at the hospital in the future. We will be encouraging patients to bring their own soft reusable bag for their belongings, and we are exploring sustainable bag options for those occasions when a patient forgets to bring a bag.”
The PVC Recycling in Hospitals Program is also operating at Grampians Health’s Horsham and Ballarat campuses.