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Article source: Mike Houlahan, Otago Daily Times

The health system throws an enormous amount of material away but a Christchurch firm is trying to get facilities, including two Dunedin hospitals, to consider recycling and reuse.

Medsalv’s genesis came when Oliver Hunt’s search for a master’s of engineering thesis topic coincided with a conversation with his surgeon uncle about the amount of waste created by the medical profession.

"I checked that there was a problem and an actual need, then went to the hospital and found a product for which I developed a process, and a year later we had our first purchase order," he said.

"The industry talks about the need for single-use products but in reality a lot of the time those products shouldn’t be ... A lot of it stems from the drive to make money, but ultimately that comes at a price to the planet."

Mr Hunt established that many medical devices are reusable but that they would require extensive testing to ensure that they are safe for use, a cost beyond the budget of many health providers.


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