Wesley Waste Warriors step up for sustainability

22 April 2024

The Wesley Hospital Environmental Auditor and Waste Warrior Mira Fitzgerald stands in front of an Aboriginal artwork which depicts two hands connecting.

Behind the scenes at The Wesley Hospital, an army of Waste Warriors scours the bins and educates others to make sure the hospital is doing its best by the planet.

Wesley Environmental Auditor Mira Fitzgerald conducts a waste audit every month to ensure the environmental health, safety and sustainability of the hospital.

She and her team of more than 50 warriors also help educate and mentor newcomers about correct disposal to make sure as much waste can be recycled as possible.

Mira says: “I monitor the waste in each area to help us to navigate and perform well in our sustainability efforts. We encourage everyone to engage with recycling and reduce our waste.”

Currently, the Wesley recycles:

  • Cardboard and paper waste.
  • Kimguard, polystyrene and soft plastics.
  • Commingled waste, such as hard plastics, glass, metal cans, containers.
  • PVC, such as IV bags, face masks and oxygen tubing.
  • Compression garments.
  • Batteries.
  • E-waste, such as computers, mobile phones, TVs and appliances.
  • Stainless steel instruments.
  • Copper cable.
  • Aluminium.
  • Food organics.

The Waste Warriors also provide educational activities during National Recycling Week, raising awareness of what can be recycled and how.

“We are lucky that we have a lot of people who want to be involved and do the right thing,” Mira says.

“Healthcare sustainability isn’t just about reducing waste or energy consumption – it encompasses a broader spectrum of initiatives that directly impact both the environment and human health.”

The Wesley Hospital is proudly part of the UnitingCare family, whose sustainability vision is of a greener, healthier and fairer future, raising the bar to protect and preserve a healthy environment for the communities we serve.

In 2022-2023, 21.9 per cent of waste was diverted from landfill across the organisation.

This was aided in 2023 by the introduction of a nutrition and food ordering system and room service at The Wesley Hospital, which is not only reducing food waste and boosting the recycling of commingled waste, but also improving care quality and patient satisfaction.

UnitingCare’s Manager of Environmental Sustainability, Simone Elias, describes the Wesley’s bin audits and Waste Warriors as “industry leading”.

For Mira, who has been working at the hospital for more than 12 years, being a Waste Warrior is also an important part of her life outside of the Wesley.

“It is not only doing it at work – we can continue sharing what we are doing here outside so that we can all have a better Earth.”

Visit our sustainability page to learn more about waste reduction and recycling at the Wesley.

Media Enquiries
General: wesley.media@uchealth.com.au
Urgent or after hours: 0412 674 013

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