Taking care of Australia’s elderly is a complex responsibility, and aged care facilities have a duty of care to keep their residents safe and comfortable. Waste management is often regarded a low priority, however it plays a significant role is keeping the facilities, and therefore the residents, well-looked-after.
Considering that approximately 43% of Australia’s population is aged 75+, promoting good waste disposal practices amongst this demographic is important in ensuring a clean and sustainable environment.
A reputable waste management company will ensure their solutions achieve the same set of goals that an aged care facility has when caring for its residents. This includes, but is not limited to, providing a hygienic facility, taking care of resident’s medical needs, and making everyday life a little easier for them.
A clean and hygienic facility is imperative when taking care of one of Australia’s most vulnerable demographic. Promoting hygiene ensures safety and comfort for the residents. It also assures families that their loved one is in a trusted facility, as this is a top priority.
How should your waste management solution promote hygiene?
Your trusted waste management company should discuss with you a tailored solution to suit your facility’s needs. This includes considering what streams of waste are produced and encouraging segregation with the appropriate bins and methods. This also includes considering the size of your facility and how much waste is produced each day, and offering flexible collection frequencies to support that.
Generally, the older we get, the more we require serious medical attention. Aged care facilities inevitably produce medical waste, and this needs to be disposed of appropriately.
How should your waste management solution promote health?
Medical waste needs to be segregated from regular rubbish. However, medical waste should also be segregated further into clinical, cytotoxic, pharmaceutical, and anatomical waste. Your waste management partner is responsible for providing specialised services and the appropriate medical bins. They’re also responsible for properly removing, sterilising and disposing of the waste at licensed facilities.
Making life easier
Finally, nursing homes exist to make their resident’s everyday lives easier. They must take into consideration the fragility of their residents by making sure there are enough bins around so that they’re easily accessible, and by placing signs on how to recycle as gentle reminders.
How should your waste management solution make your resident’s lives easier?
Proper waste segregation and disposal is encouraged by providing an adequate amount of bins, depending on the size of your facility, and incorporating an efficient recycling scheme into the solution.
What are aged care facilities currently doing to reduce their waste?
According to a Zero Waste SA case study, the aged care sector has been a key focus for waste management reviews. This is due to the large percentage of baby boomers that make up Australia’s population, as well as the ever increasing number of aged care home residents. As a result, nursing homes produce numerous streams of waste, and lots of it.
Procurement and Contracts Manager at Eldercare, Tony Pascoe, says,
“It’s gobsmacking how much waste comes out of aged care but there wasn’t an awareness at site level about recycling. It was an entirely new concept.”
The study found that, at just 20%, the sector has one of the lowest industry rates for recycling, while the State Government has a strategic target of 75% for commercial and industrial waste.
The case study details a number of ways for nursing homes to encourage recycling. This includes reducing costs of regular waste solutions for bin sizes and collection frequencies that aren’t need. Therefore, this makes room for waste segregation and allows for budgets to accomodate to recycling, as well as reviewing lift bin sizes. It also includes the simple initiatives of using colour coded bin lids and locating bins in strategic locations.
The review achieved a 42% decrease in waste to landfill, with a 37% increase in co-mingled recycling and a 5% increase in food organic recycling, as well as ongoing assistance and advice to the sector on recycling waste initiatives.
Does your aged care facility need to review its waste management plan? Nationwide Waste Solutions is just a phone call away! Our solutions offer convenience, reduced costs, and sustainability. For more information, call us today on 1300 729 922 or contact us here.
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