From the Departments of *Anaesthesia and †Intensive Care, Western Health, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Much waste arises from operating rooms (ORs). We estimated the practical and financial feasibility of an OR recycling program, weighing all waste from 6 ORs in Melbourne, Australia. Over 1 week, 237 operations produced 1265 kg in total: general waste 570 kg (45%), infectious waste 410 kg (32%), and recyclables 285 kg (23%). The achieved recycling had no infectious contamination. The achieved recycling/potential recycling rate was 285 kg/517 kg (55%). The average waste disposal costs were similar for general waste and recycling. OR recycling rates of 20%-25% total waste were achievable without compromising infection control or financial constraints.
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