Fiona Stanley Hospital going green

A man stands in front of a number of different recycling bins
Jay Leonard, Serco FSH Operations Manager
June 4, 2020

At Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH), ongoing education and initiatives to increase recycling and reduce the amount of waste going to landfill are paying dividends.

Jay Leonard, Serco FSH Operations Manager, said while the hospital’s total volume of waste generally increases each year, since 2018 there had been a significant reduction in waste to landfill and an overall increase in recycling.

“In 2016, the hospital generated 2.073 million kilograms of waste. Of this, 66 per cent went to landfill and 34 per cent was recycled.

“Last year, although our total waste increased to 2.22 million kilograms, 46 per cent was recycled and only 54 per cent went to landfill. This is a really positive improvement and we’re on track to do better again this year,” Jay said.

PVC is one material commonly used in hospitals and while it can be recycled, it needs to be separated from other materials.

In the Post-Anaesthetic Care Unit (PACU), a new process was introduced to recycle PVC items including HVIV fluid bags, oxygen tubing and breathing masks. Following its success, the initiative will be trialled in theatres and the State Rehabilitation Service in the coming weeks, with additional locations to follow.

The PVC collected from these areas is used to make road base and impact flooring commonly used in children’s playgrounds.

“Infection prevention requirements mean many items in a hospital can only be used once so it can be difficult to reduce the volume of waste generated,” said Jay.

“But what we can do is put in place education, information and the right tools to encourage people to recycle as much as possible.”

Work is also underway to find opportunities to make small changes that could have a big impact, such as switching from plastic to paper pill cups.

“We have lots of conversations with people around the hospital about what they can do in their department or work area to raise awareness about recycling opportunities,” Jay said.

“Inherently, we know everyone wants to do the right thing – we just need to give them the right tools and education.”

SMHS is a member of the Global Green and Healthy Hospitals (GGHH) Network and our environmental initiatives are underpinned by the SMHS Sustainability Framework (external link).

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