Waste education in healthcare

In 2017-18 Victorian public health services generated approximately 35,000 tonnes of solid waste and of this approximately:

  • 8,000 tonnes was recycled
  • 5,000 tonnes was clinical waste
  • 22,000 tonnes was classified as general waste.

The disposal costs of this solid waste were close to $17 million, of which half was for treating and disposing of clinical waste.

About the project

Sustainability Victoria, in collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services, are undertaking a two-year project (2018-2020) to explore waste avoidance, resource recovery opportunities and to minimise clinical waste costs in the healthcare system.

The Waste education in healthcare project involves trialling 8 interventions and measuring their impacts and these include:

  1. Waste audit guidelines
  2. Clinical waste guidelines clarification and FAQs
  3. E-waste to landfill ban
  4. Piloting waste segregation on wards
  5. PVC recycling
  6. Single use metal recycling
  7. Mentoring workshops
  8. Online education resource

An outline of the research findings and interventions is available on the Waste education in healthcare summary report page on the Health Victoria website.

Want to know more? Get in touch with:

Rachel McConville

Resource Recovery Strategies & Programs, Department of Health and Human Services

rachel.mcconville@sustainability.vic.gov.au