Located in the Melbourne suburb of Sydenham, Brimbank Vet Clinic has been part of the local community for 20 years. This independent clinic was established in 1998 by Dr Jeremy Watson who has since been joined by Dr Darrell Gust and Dr Lisa Di Vitto.
They are doing everything they can to create a better future for animals everywhere and recently received Climate Active certification from the Australian Government. This is awarded to businesses and organisations that have credibly reached a state of achieving net zero emissions, otherwise known as carbon neutrality.
We recognise that in order to care for animals, we need to care for the environment in which they live. Our contemporary clinic and hospital are designed to be highly energy efficient. Spaces are flooded with natural light and our solar panels support most of our energy needs."
Dr Jeremy Watson, Brimbank Vet Clinic
Reducing curbside recycling
As part of the Climate Care Program No time to waste - recycling and minimising landfill module, the team at Brimbank conducted a waste audit to help to identify materials that could potentially be avoided or recovered and diverted from landfill.
Conducting a waste audit
The team were encouraged to participate in a waste audit of their practice. This took only 30 minutes as part of their weekly team meeting. As a result of the audit, 11 different categories of waste were identified including soft plastics + dripline, drapes, masks, food waste, paper, hard plastic, gauze and cotton, rubber gloves, tetra packs, biowaste and biohazard sharps.
The team reported they are now taking more interest in what goes into their waste and how to better sort it to avoid landfill. Awareness raising by conducting the waste audit was a key in motivating the team as most did not know it was even an issue!
Brimbank are now better equipped to manage their waste streams which is not only great for the environment but also a cost saving for the practice. At the beginning of the process they started with 4 landfill bins which has now been reduced to 3 landfill bins and 2 co-mingled bins. They’ve also invested a small amount (< $300) on creating simple colour-codes boxes and baskets to improve their waste separation.
In January 2022 (3 months after the waste audit) a review of their waste invoices indicated in a saving of $500. Multiplied across a whole year, implementing these simple changes is estimated to save Brimbank $3,000 p.a. A truly great outcome and demonstrates positive changes you can make for a small investment of time from your team.
For information on doing a waste audit, and a host of tips and tricks for recycling in your practice, register your interest to participate in the Climate Care Program!
The team at Brimbank Vet Clinic conducting a waste audit
A team member at Brimbank Vet Clinic sorting waste into colour coded recycling bins
A co-mingled bin in use at Brimbank Vet Clinic
Solar panels installed on the roof of Brimbank Vet Clinic
Climate Active - carbon neutral banner outside Brimbank Vet Clinic