The Green Healthcare Programme found that, on average, 20% of the healthcare risk waste bags generated in acute hospitals come from the theatre. Thus it is an important location to look at when trying to reduce the quantity of healthcare risk waste generated in any healthcare facility.
This Best Practice Guide outlines actions to minimise the quantity of waste, particularly healthcare risk waste, generated in the theatre.
In particular there are three main groups of actions that can be taken:
- Prevent the generation of waste (through consultation with staff, a review of unopened material left after procedures, a stardardised list of instruments, better use of sterile water, removal of unwanted material in kits etc.)
- Review the healthcare risk waste classification policy (to determine if some currently classified materials could be classified as non-risk waste)
- Increase the segregation of recyclables and minimise the non-risk waste content in the healthcare risk waste (removal of non-essential clinical bins, provide more recycling bins, maximise segregation etc.)
In those GHCP facilities that actively segregated recyclables in theatre, 40% of waste is recycled, in contrast with other facilities, that, on average only recycle 11% or waste.