Cleanaway trials theater waste recycling program with Royal Perth Hospital

The Theatre Department at Royal Perth Hospital is on a mission to minimise waste with Cleanaway lending a helping hand

Our Services - Resource Recovery

November 26, 2021

Highlights

“The Theatre Department reached out to see what could be done to improve upon their current recycling practices. The biggest hurdle was to address the number of products used in the theatres and to determine how many of them could actually be recycled.”

Tags: healthcare
Highlights

“The Theatre Department reached out to see what could be done to improve upon their current recycling practices. The biggest hurdle was to address the number of products used in the theatres and to determine how many of them could actually be recycled.”

When consultant anaesthetist Everard Lee moved from New Zealand to Perth as part of his anaesthetic training, he was surprised to find that many products used in the operation theatres were not being recycled.

Seeing this as an opportunity to do more for the environment through his day to day work, Everard set out on his mission by forming a ‘green group’ within the theatre department of our customer, Royal Perth Hospital.

The group started by taking a closer look at the two volatile agents that are commonly used to put patients to sleep in the theatres – desflurane and sevoflurane. Everard knew that desflurane is 10-20 times more harmful to the environment than sevoflurane, and the mission to get this message out across to the wider team got underway. This quickly snowballed into a larger, more concerted effort involving all staff within the Theatre Department.

“We have a special bunch here at Royal Perth. Our ‘family’ is committed to recycling and happy to support each other. All I had to do was organise the energy and help everyone achieve a good outcome,” said Everard.

Everard’s colleague Jesus Reyes agreed that having the right information played a crucial part in their recycling journey.

“Once we had the education, we came up with a plan to delegate tasks across the entire Theatre Department. We wanted to get everybody involved and not just the anesthetists and nurses. Whenever new products came into the theatres, we took it upon ourselves to ask the suppliers if their products are recyclable,” said Jesus, who is A/Clinical Nurse Specialist – Perioperative at Royal Perth Hospital.

Pictured: Everard Lee (centre) and the theatre department’s ‘green group’ discussing the Environmental Impact Program with Cleanaway’s Key Account Manager Robert Bahemia (left).

The group’s next step was to get in touch with Cleanaway via Key Account Manager Robert Bahemia, who immediately set up a meeting. This was followed by an audit of the equipment used by the anesthetists so that a list detailing recyclable and non-recyclable materials could be created.

“The theatre department reached out to see what could be done to improve upon their current recycling practices. The biggest hurdle was to address the number of products used in the theatres and to determine how many of them could actually be recycled,” said Robert.

“Through the RPH Theatres Environmental Impact Program we were able to identify what the department could achieve. While we’re still in the infancy stages of the program, we’re already imagining what could be done across the hospital. Taking it further, we hope to see similar programs being rolled out in hospitals within the Perth metropolitan area.”

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