AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – AU Health is going green in the operating room.

The phrase “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle” doesn’t have to end in grade school. 

“‘How am I treating this home, how is the work that I do here in my work home, impacts the family that is outside,’ which is our community,’” Dr. Jain said.

And Dr. Ankit Jain at AU Health is making sure his team, in the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, is that visual reminder. 

“My goal is to be able to create sustainable practices within the health system– at the same time, reducing the cost of what we are doing,” Dr. Jain said.

While maintaining and ensuring the safety of his patients, Dr. Jain looked for ways to reduce waste in the operating room. 

“Are we using our meetings digitally rather than just printing papers and papers and papers every time. So, there’s so many different ways in which we can make changes,” Dr. Jain said.

He came up with the “MCG Anesthesia Green Team” which swaps plastic items with things that are degradable and cut back on other resources that are not environmentally friendly.

“So these are some of the gasses that we use to put patients to sleep and maintain that anesthetic state– you see this is empty, this is where the desflurane was and we got rid of that,” Dr. Jain said.

Dr. Jain says a bunch of waste is already trashed before anyone undergoes surgery. 

“That’s called ‘clean uncontaminated waste,’ can we shift that to a recycling company instead of not doing that right now and every waste is kind of just clubbed in together as a contaminated waste and now being processed,” Dr. Jain said.

If you’re a waste company interested in partnering with the department for an alternative to recyclable waste, click here.