Auburn Hospital Recycling Team: 17 years of dedication to the western Sydney community and environment

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The Auburn Hospital Recycling Team is an award-winning team of General Services staff who have been recycling everything from cans and bottles, to hospital beds and humidicribs for over 17 years.

In honour of their efforts, the team has just been awarded with their ninth Sustainable Cities Award.

The Sustainable Cities Awards acknowledge and celebrate metropolitan Councils, organisations, and communities who are making greater Sydney more sustainable and liveable.

One of the team’s most successful projects is Containers for Humanity, which recycles cans and bottles collected from the hospital to raise money for Save the Children. The project currently donates over $100 each month to the charity and has won numerous awards for its environmental and social impact.

Another successful project is Smashing the Trash, which redirects reusable items from landfill to worthy causes. The team has donated beds, trolleys, and other medical equipment to hospitals in the developing world, as well as furniture and other items to local churches and community members in need.

The team’s dedication and commitment to environmental sustainability has been praised by many, including the NSW government and the Sustainable Cities Awards program. The team is an inspiration to others and their work makes a real difference to the community and the environment.

Some of the projects undertaken by the team include:

  • Curtains for Tonga: Over 300 bed curtains, no longer required by the hospital, were donated to be utilised by a hospital in Tonga that had been affected by the tsunami.
  • Lids for Kids: The team collects plastic lids from throughout the hospital to make artificial limbs for children. The lids are now recycled by Rotary.
  • Clothing for Ukraine: The team did two clothing drives for Ukrainian refugees and donated the clothes to the local Ukrainian church.
  • Furniture for local churches and community members: The team has rescued over 200 pieces of furniture, chairs, tables, and bookshelves from the skip and donated them to local churches and community members in need.
  • Items for local vets and wildlife sanctuaries: The team has donated hundreds of items to local vets and wildlife sanctuaries, including a humidicrib to Featherdale Wildlife Rescue and an anaesthetic machine converted from a discarded theatre trolley.
  • Midwives for the planet: Inspired by the cleaners, the midwives at Auburn Hospital began to see things they could recycle, such as Vitamin K syringes and unused instruments from birthing packs. These items are now recycled to medicate small animals and feed baby birds.

Pictured below are some of the animals that have benefited from the donated goods, which include recycled plastic bowls, discarded theatre trolleys, and humidicribs.