Auburn’s war on waste: Top gong for hospital staff

General services leading hand at Auburn Hospital Barbra Chapman, acting director of nursing and midwifery Tanya Critchlow, student Alex Roberts and after hours nurse manager at Auburn Hospital, Kristina Roberts.

For the past 13 years Auburn Hospital’s Barbara Chapman and Western Sydney University’s masters student Alex Roberts have been waging their own war on waste.

Together they are making a difference not only for the environment but for people struggling in the developing world by recycling millions of cans and bottles through their ‘Cans for Kids’ project at Auburn Hospital.

Building on the success of the project, staff have been collecting and redirecting reusable items.

So far, this has reduced the waste management budget at the hospital from $9,000 to $6,500 within one month.

Staff have already recycled: 12,000 plastic bowls, 6,000 kidney dishes and galley pots, 20,000 items of out of date stock, 21,000 pieces of kimguard (non-absorbent material used for wrapping sterile operating packs), 18 large bins of cans and bottles, 20,000 articles of clothing, a delivery suite bed and baby warmer.

Their work has been recognised with a Cumberland Council Australia Day Award, a Western Sydney Local Health District Quality Award, they were also a finalist in the NSW Government’s Green Globe Awards and the winners of an NSW Environmental Protection Agencies award for ‘Waste Less, Recycle More’.