The Green Healthcare Programme (GHCP) has produced a Best Practice Guide on Healthcare Risk Waste Reduction.
This Best Practice Guide outlines actions to reduce the quantity of non-risk waste disposed of as healthcare risk waste. The information has been gathered through work undertaken with a number of Green Healthcare Programme hospitals, who have been observed to operate best practice measures.
Surveys of healthcare risk waste bags by GHCP found that, on average, 19% of the healthcare risk waste bags was obvious non-risk material (packaging and non-clinical items). An additional 15% of the bags was comprised of materials, which were uncontaminated, and may not be healthcare risk waste.
These levels need to be improved upon to save money and resources as can be seen from the graphic below (click to enlarge) showing the different costs of waste disposal routes.
The Guide outlines the important first steps to reduce the quantity of non-risk waste:
- Review your facility’s healthcare risk waste classification policy
- Ensure staff know what is and what is not healthcare risk waste
- Remove healthcare risk waste (HCRW) bins from public access areas (e.g. multi-bed wards)
The Guide also gives much more best practice guidance for healthcare facilities in Ireland.