RecoMed is currently active in 36 hospitals around England, in our time setting up our PVC recycling scheme with these hospitals we’ve learnt a thing or two. Here are some of our top tips for ensuring the scheme gets off to the right start…
Usually, RecoMed are approached by someone with a keen interest in sustainability within an NHS Trust looking to implement recycling in theatre. These tips are aimed at you.
Be a recycling champion
In all of our most successful hospitals, there is one person who has taken the lead on implementing the scheme in their department. This person is usually the first to enquire with us about setting up RecoMed to recycle single use PVC items. This recycling champion gets other staff members involved, teaches them about the benefits to the NHS of using RecoMed, (think tonnes of traditionally single use PVC plastic that used to be expensively incinerated or landfilled now being recycled for FREE) and encourages others to look at ways of reducing waste in their departments.
Getting the right people on board
The RecoMed scheme relies on several departments within the hospital system, the first people to get on board are the clinical staff, but they are only one part of it. Hospitals usually have a hotel services team or facilities management company who service the clinical waste bins and transport waste from ward level to the waste yard for collection. RecoMed fits seamlessly with this system. The hotel services or facilities manager will be a key contact for the successful operation of the scheme and they will need to be on board.
Set up and training
Once everyone is on board it’s time to order the recycling bins and place them. We normally recommend starting in a few theatre recovery areas where there will be the largest volume of the masks and tubing for recycling. It’s good to place a PVC recycling bin close to the nurses station where it is easily visible and accessible.
Now it’s time to do the training – get all the clinical staff together during a clinical governance day and the RecoMed team will attend to provide a demonstration and explain how the scheme works in more detail. After that, it’s all about the follow up. Make sure to keep reminding staff members about the scheme and watch out for contamination in the bins. The RecoMed team will carry out a follow up visit to help with any teething problems and provide further support.