The latest South African member to join GGHH, Bertha Gxowa Hospital, announced their membership on 16th August with the launch of a new recycling campaign that aims to accomplish zero waste at the hospital.

“The importance of GGHH projects is to ensure that we create a new ethos and goals to help reduce environmental footprint and promote public and environmental health,” explains Dr Nokwethemba Mtshali-Hadebe, CEO of Bertha Gxowa Hospital. groundWork’s GGHH campaigner, Luqman Yesufu said: “We welcome Bertha Gxowa Hospital to the GGHH network. It is another important step towards sustainable health care in Gauteng.”

Bertha Gxowa Hospital has decided to adopt the waste and pharmaceutical goals. Under the pharmaceutical goal, they encourage patients to return unused or expired medicines instead of disposing them incorrectly, which can lead to toxic drugs in the water supply, soil and food chains. This has helped changed people’s perceptions around disposing of their medicine in the sewer and bins.

The waste goal hopes to phase out infectious waste boxes, by replacing them with permanent reusable bins. The zero waste recycling initiative aims to recycle all reusable waste materials generated in the hospital, including cans, papers and food waste. The medical waste generated in the hospital has dropped on average from 5593,9 kg in 2016 to 3740,08 in 2017. The hospital’s waste management efforts have saved them R 4106 since October 2016.

South Africa has almost 40 GGHH members from four provinces – Gauteng, KwaZulu Natal, Western Cape and Free State.

Photos source: groundWork