A rubbish day out
- By: Katherine Ngo
It was like a scene from Spider Man. We were standing atop a 20 metre feeding shoot as Doctor Octopus-type claws picked up, pivoted across, and dropped countless yellow and black bags in front of us. Breathing in the smell of accumulated rubbish, I found myself asking, “How did an Australian medical student end up at LondonWaste?”
I had been in the middle of my elective at the Royal London Hospital when a senior house officer who I had been relentlessly shadowing suggested the tour. I was intrigued: where do gloves, needles, and other waste go after we ditch them in those yellow bags?
Like human bodies, hospitals produce a huge amount of waste every day. The World Health Organization has defined different categories of healthcare waste on the basis of risk, like categories of drugs suitable for breastfeeding mothers. Infectious waste material, human tissue, animal tissue, and surgical dressings