Introduction A large hospice in South East London conducted a Quality Improvement project with an aim to reduce inappropriate landfill and incinerator waste and in turn reducing associated financial waste disposal costs at the hospice starting with a trial on one ward.
Aims statement Increase in recycling on one of our three wards by 50%, within three months.
What changes were made A Plan, Do, Study, Act methodology was used and 4 cycles took place, which included increasing the recycling bins, creating educational posters and teaching sessions about waste segregation.
Data collection. Recycling output (kg) data was measured on the ward for ten consecutive days at 16:00 (prior to interventions) to measure a baseline. To monitor the progress, recycling output (kg) was measured at 16:00 for at least ten days after each intervention, and at three months later.
Results The QI project saw that recycling had increased by 244% after three months. The recycling project also saw an increase in staff satisfaction that they were able to recycle items in the clinical room.
Themes Sustainability/Cost of recycling/Working together.
Conclusion The hospice is implementing the changes to the other wards and will reassess after three months. The hospice is forming a sustainability task-force to ensure recycling bins and teaching on waste segregation is consistent across all clinical areas and non-clinical areas.
Financial implications – TBC work out how much money the hospice would save if every ward increased recycling output by 244%). Future areas for development are to explore recycling options for items that cannot be recycled on the ward, in particular donating unused medical supplies which would otherwise be discarded to international charities, thus further reducing medical waste.
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