A BENDIGO program that's diverted more than a tonne of waste from landfill has been named as a finalist in the 2020 Premier's Sustainability Awards.
The Bendigo Health initiative recycles curtains and bed screens that need to be replaced every 12 months.
Waste officer Cindy Bird said every little bit of waste saved from landfill helped with an organisation as big as Bendigo Health.
Mrs Bird said education and contamination were the two challenges for a hospital to recycle more.
She said anything from an infectious patient, or bloodstained, obviously couldn't be recycled.
But Mrs Bird said some recyclers were reluctant to take medical waste.
In the curtains' case, embedded chemicals keep them contamination free. Previously, they went to landfill, but Mrs Bird found a business take the curtains to recyle, if they were baled up.
With a grant Bendigo Health was able to buy a baler. Since then it's saved more than a tonne of disposed of curtains - about 20 bales - from going to landfill.
Mrs Bird believes it's now the only hospital in the state to recycle the curtains in question.
She said it was very exciting to be nominated alongside the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne as a regional hospital.
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