DOI: 10.1093/bjs/znad258.624 ISSN:

1149 Bringing Recycling to the Operating Department - a Sustainability Project in a DGH in London

G Cho, J W Yun
  • Surgery



The Lancet Commissions report of 2015 suggested that tackling climate change could be the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century. Both the Royal College of Surgeons of England and the Royal College of Anaesthetists have committed to sustainability task forces and have published guidance on improving care through small, sustainable practices including recycling waste.


We conducted a theatre staff survey on SurveyMonkey in an operating department in an acute district general hospital without any recycling facilities on the attitudes towards recycling, and how this could be implemented.


We received 103 responses, including a broad spectrum of the multi-disciplinary team including surgeons, anaesthetists, scrub nurses, operating department practitioners and healthcare assistants. Results showed that little to no recycling occurred (59%), 48% of respondents were not familiar with which material can be recycled, and 96% were agreeable to improving access to recycling in theatres. Two main areas identified as barriers to recycling were inadequate access to recycling bins and inadequate information on what can and what cannot be recycled. In terms of implementation, 75% of respondents indicated that posters around the department would be most useful in raising awareness and providing information on recyclable materials.


Currently, we are in conversation with the Trust and the waste management company to identify a list of recyclable materials and to incorporate recycling bins as part of the waste management pathway.

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