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Recycled plastic from Orange Hospital theatres leads to bums on seats

October 20, 2023

The recycled hard plastic was repurposed into new seating at Orange Health Service. Supplied.

By Peter Holmes

Hundreds of kilograms of recycled plastic from theatres at Orange Health Service have been recycled, with some of the plastic being used to build courtyard seating for patients and their family and friends.

Over more than a year the hospital diverted 761 kg of hard plastic – the equivalent of 76 full wheelie bins – from hospital theatres, to be recycled into seating at Orange Health Service.


The seating is in the ICU and Community Health courtyards.

Rohan Hutchins is an Orange Health Service clinical nurse specialist, and NSW Health Net Zero lead for nursing.

He said he identified an opportunity to reduce the amount of waste going into landfill by recycling certain plastics in theatres at the facility.

“Staff have jumped on board and started separating the hard plastic waste generated in theatres and the Sterile Service Department,” Hutchins said.

“We have then collaborated with Downer and Allmould Plastics Group to find local, sustainable solutions to repurpose the waste.

"The project is a small, but very tangible, and [a] visible demonstration of what our recycling efforts can achieve.”

A new view. Supplied.

Regional health minister Ryan Park said: “The transformation of plastic waste into usable seating not only reduces the environmental footprint of Orange Health Service, but it also serves as a powerful example of how everyone can proactively address sustainability challenges.”

As part of its Environmental Sustainability Strategy 2023 – 2027, Park said the Orange district was committed to reducing waste going to landfill by 10 percent by 2025, and increasing waste recycled to 20 percent by 2025.

Scott Cantrill from Orange’s Allmould Plastics said the project had resulted in the company establishing its own mobile and on-site recycling plant, “in which all waste material is processed, granulated and remade into products that do not require 100 percent virgin material.”

Downer’s Liz Curran said hospitals “have an abundance of opportunity to pursue a more sustainable future, be it through renewable energy solutions, or initiatives like this one, which Orange Health Service championed, to divert waste from landfill whilst improving the patients’ outdoor environment”.

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