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Waste Recovery and Management Challenge FAQ

Has Hunter New England Health District chosen a hospital to run a pilot, potentially at the proof-of-concept phase?

John Hunter Hospital has been identified as the hospital of choice for a pilot, as it is the largest generator of waste and a good starting point. Scalability across multiple sites will also be considered during the feasibility phase. There are other sites that have potential to participate and contribute to specific areas of interest, such as variation in dock size.

If there is a desire to visit or partner with another facility for convenience or because there is an existing relationship, applicants can also submit this request for consideration.

Can applicants visit sites to better understand the existing waste system?

Yes, there is the potential for a site visit to better understand existing waste systems. Hunter New England Health District can facilitate a site visit if requested, including to John Hunter or other local facilities across the Hunter New England Health network. However, there are no requirements for a site visit as part of the application.

Where are the boundaries of your system?

To set up for a circular economy, the focus of the challenge is to develop smarter, more innovative ways to segregate waste. From a waste segregation perspective, the boundaries of the challenge start at point of generation where the waste is collected, such as the bins in the hospital. Separation of waste includes separation within facilities, as well as externally once it arrives at the dock.

Can I apply if I have an existing agreement with other parties or health networks outside of NSW?

Yes, you can have a product that is already on the market and rolled out elsewhere, provided you meet the eligibility criteria for the SBIR program (see program guidelines here). Any data from solutions being applied elsewhere should be provided, as that may strengthen your application.

Applicants will still be required to go through the feasibility study and proof of concept phases. These should be used to showcase your technology and customise your solutions to best solve the challenge.

Is the waste in the challenge considered sterile?

Challenge solutions will have to consider infection prevention and control measures for different types of clinical waste streams, which will have a different set of requirements, including sterile waste.

Additional information from Healthshare NSW

There is scope to provide additional information and background for more insight into the organisation. Given its complexity and types of waste streams (both primary and secondary), some of that data is sensitive. Please reach out to HSNSW-Sustainability@health.nsw.gov.au, to receive this information.