To maintain hospital grade quality, bed screen/curtains require replacement each year. Recognising that the curtains were marketed as recyclable, Bendigo Health took considered steps toward ensuring recycling could take place. The anti-mould and anti-mildew impregnated component of the material proved to be a deterrent for general recyclers.
After much research to locate a recycler who would accept the polypropylene curtains Bendigo Health found that the Ballarat Replas facility processed large quantities of polypropylene materials in the manufacture of recycled products such as bollards, tables and signage.
To meet sanitation requirements, Bendigo Health developed a method of bailing the curtains to ensure no physical contact or handling needed to take place and the bale could be forked directly into recycling.
A three-year stockpile of the curtains (approximately one tonne) was successfully diverted from landfill in 2019. Bendigo Health are currently working with recyclers to find solutions to further divert their medical waste materials from landfill.
Posters displaying the suitability initiative throughout the facility foster a sense of patient and employee pride, a positive outcome for the hospital's culture and community.