Fiona Stanley Hospital is a major tertiary hospital in the South metropolitan area of Western Australia. Its Emergency Department is a fast-paced area with a high patient turnover. Most of the equipment used is disposable, thus producing significant amounts of waste.

In January 2021, staff from the Emergency Department (ED) revitalized an environmental sustainability group called Eco WarriERs to develop and introduce waste management and recycling initiatives while delivering education to their colleagues to reduce wasteful practices.

That year, they introduced recycling bins for PVC, syringes, and co-mingled recycling bins. They also worked on recovering metals such as aluminum, steel, and titanium for recycling, significantly reducing the use of natural resources, energy and their impact on air pollution.

Instructional signage above bins in the Fiona Stanley Hospital ED. Photo: FSD ED

Instructional signage above bins in the Fiona Stanley Hospital ED. Photo: FSD ED

“Our success in introducing the various recycling streams in our ED goes to show that even in such a busy clinical environment, people are willing to take the time to ensure waste is being recycled effectively. With a bit of work to ensure people were educated and informed about what we were doing, our staff have embraced our efforts to be more environmentally sustainable and to reduce the carbon impact of the care we deliver,” said Sam Fletcher, Clinical Educator and EcoWarriER. 

Sam Fletcher, Clinical Educator and EcoWarriER. Photo: FSH ED.

Sam Fletcher, Clinical Educator and EcoWarriER. Photo: FSH ED.

“The Eco WarriER initiative is a great example of motivated healthcare staff working together for positive change. We encourage other health services to consider developing similar environmental sustainability working groups to drive recycling and waste reduction”, says Stefanie Carino, Sustainable Healthcare Program Manager, Climate and Health Alliance.

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