Don Medical Clinic - Environment and Waste Management

Don Medical Clinic policy to minimise waste in General Practice. This includes being efficient with our time, finances as well as general waste in the practice. This will not only be doing our part to assist the environmental impacts of our waste in our community, but also lead to better use of our resources and reduce cost to provide services. Health care prodices a lot of waste due to high infection control standards. Some of this that may be deemed infectious must be legally discarded into clinical waste bins and then incinerated. Many items though can be disposed in general landfill.

Climate change and Health

  • World Health Organisation (WHO) predicts increasing health impacts and additional deaths associated with climate change. It will impact floods, bushfires, loss of vegetation, air quality, drinking water and food supply.
  • Climate change also will affect social impacts. This has an effect on everyones wellbeing and mental health.

What we can do at Don Medical Clinic

  • Office waste Minimisation and recycling
  • Improving our use of electronic resources to assist with reducing office paper waste
  • Sourcing alternative products that are more environmentally friendly where appropriate

Responsibility for implementing this policy is principally from management, however, all members of the DMC team have responsibility in participating to Don Medical being good business citizens in our community.

  • Audit of our plastic waste bag usage showed approx 3000+ plast bags / year going to landfill. Plus plastic injection trays
  • Audit showed locally our local council does not supply recycling bins to busioness as part of rates like residential homes. Business need to pay for this service themselves

What have we done so far:

  • Organized recycling Bin for general recycling for the practice. This means all cardboard, plastic bottles, cans etc can now be sent to recycling.
  • Where possible we have changed from plastic disposable waste bags to Compostable BioBags. These are made from waste organic product so even if they do end up in landfill, they will at least break down completely and not release microplastics into the soil.
  • We have changed from plastic injection trays to compostable trays where possible. this also reduces plastic waste into our soils. Made from sugarcane waste.
  • Ensure any material that has any clinical information or patietn information is destroyed by high quality paper shredding. This can then be composted where possible
  • Minimise paper printing where we can
  • Utilise recycled copy paper where possibe.
  • Encourage staff to use re usable drink bottles and coffee cups etc

What are our future plans:

  • Analyse the installation of Solar panels and battery for electricity usage to minimise our national and global footprint. This could also ensure reliable electrical supply for vaccine fridges and general power in times of power loss to ensure the practie can stay open in an emergency situation
  • This may also allow an option of a charging station at the practie for staff and patient use.
  • Look at how we can minimise waste bag use further. This can reduce overall cost and assist with practice financial stability.
  • Ideally we want to minimise waste overall, not just recycle stuff which uses energy, so look at how we can do this by monitoring our ordering to ensure we minimise this.
  • Encourage staff and patients to look at planet friendly options.

we can all do our part for climate change. This can reduce our vulnerability to helath issues related to environmental changes