The Green Healthcare Programme has issued a set of new benchmarks for hospital waste. These are based on three years of waste surveys carried out by the project team in the 26 participating hospitals.

The benchmarks include both risk and non-risk waste. Risk waste is clinical waste sent for sterilisation and for incineration. Non-risk waste includes general or domestic waste, recyclable waste and segregated food waste (click graphic to enlarge).

The benchmarks show the total waste generated per in-patient bed day in kg. They also show the breakdown of this total (7.7kg for acute hospitals, and 3.7 kg for primary community continuing care (PCCC) facilities) into the four streams: Healthcare risk waste, Food waste, Mixed recyclables, General landfill waste.

These benchmarks are a very worthwhile tool that allows a healthcare facility to identify if they produce more or less waste than the average GHCP facility. If a hospital greatly exceeds these benchmarks, it may need to consider the reasons for this and implement improvement options.

Click here to download a graphic showing the benchmark.