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Mosaic creates recycling rainbow at FMC

Southern Health News, December 2019

Mosaic creates recycling rainbow at FMC

If every picture paints a thousand words, FMC’s life-sized Operating Theatre Nurse has an inspiring story to tell.

At first glance, he (or is it a she?) is a stunning 180cm tall mosaic. But on closer inspection you see the pieces of bright orange, blue, white and red ‘glass’ are actually ampoule lids and caps, expired syringes and many other plastic pieces retrieved from medical devices.

Once, the disposable plastics would have ended up in landfill.

However, the team behind Flinders Medical Centre’s peri-operative recycling initiative – which has been gaining momentum in recent years – had other ideas.

‘We original planned to have a mosaic for the National Recycling Week campaign in November to showcase the link between operating theatre nurses and sustainability in healthcare. The concept was to have a design that reflected what we do as nurses in the operating room and the ways in which we care for our patients, community and beyond,’ explained Darren Bradbrook, Associate Nurse Unit Manager – Anaesthetics.

Following a conversation with Arts in Health at FMC about visually linking operating theatre nurses with recycling, Darren worked with Clinical Nurse – Anaesthetics, Maria Cmielewski, who created and designed the mosaic; and anaesthetic nurses, who added to the final piece during their meal breaks and spare time.

The mural – installed by Arts in Health at FMC – is located outside the Department of Anaesthesia  on Level 2 at Flinders Medical Centre.

Around 10 locations across SALHN are involved in a network-wide recycling initiative which has diverted:

  • More than 3.1 tonnes (3100kg) of PVC from landfill, which has been recycled into 20 kilometres of garden hose and over 450 play mats for children.
  • More than 1420 cubic metres of plastics - equivalent to 1.5 Olympic sized swimming pools of compressed plastic – from landfill. The plastic has been used as Processed Engineered Fuel coal substitute.
  • More than 2300 aluminium anaesthesia gas canisters, that have been made into children’s bike frames.

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