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Taranaki District Health Board - Te Whatu Ora Taranaki

Te Whatu Ora Taranaki serves a population of 117,561 people. This is approximately 2.5% of the New Zealand population. Taranaki has two hospitals - Taranaki Base Hospital in New Plymouth and Hāwera Hospital.

Taranaki Base Hospital and Hāwera Hospital uses around 1,600 tonnes of single use sharps each year. The use of single-use sharps for the DHB were a major contributor of their plastic waste going to landfill. As a critical medical device, finding a solution to this problem plastic was a key focus area for the DHB. The current system in place did not provide for actual sharps tonnage collected due to the single use sharps being discarded into the medical waste wheelie bins, therefore treated as medical waste. The system also fell short of meeting the DHB’s future objectives for waste reduction and management of sharps waste. In other DHB’s using the Daniels Sharpsmart system, the units are collected separately, allowing accurate data collected per waste stream. This was a key decision-making factor for the Taranaki DHB where data was required for obtaining their Toitū carbon reduce certification.


  • With an existing system in place, getting by-in from the end-users at ward level was required before any change occurred. Waste Management’s proposed solution also had to ensure it met the DHB’s following objectives:
  • Replace single-use sharps container with reusable bins and reduce landfill waste.
  • Meet legal requirements and the Minister of Health’s expectations to achieve zero carbon by 2050, zero landfill waste by 2040, healthy communities and cost savings.
  • Align with Taranaki DHB’s Sustainability Policy. · Consider broader outcomes in procurement of medical items: health and well-being of patients, visitors and staff; environmental; social; and economic benefits.
  • Allowed the purchasing of medical items/goods with low environmental impact.
  • Help to achieve Toitū carbon reduce certification.
  • Would meet the Government Procurement Rule 20: Transitioning to a net-zero emissions economy and designing waste out of the system.
  • Assist Taranaki DHB’s Emission Management and Reduction Plan by using reusable medical devices.
  • Meet the requirements of the NZS 4304:2002: Management of Healthcare Waste and AS/NZS 4261: 1994 Reusable containers for the collection of sharp items.


Waste Management’s specialist Medical Waste team worked with the DHB and proposed the implementation of the comprehensively researched and designed Daniels Sharpsmart reusable sharps collector system. Daniels Sharpsmart is a one-for-one process. Once the container has reached its fill line capacity, the tray will shut itself off in the upright position, making overfilling the container non-existent. The whole container is taken away, replaced with clean new one. Upon treatment of the waste, only the sharps waste is treated via a steam sterilisation rotoclave. The container is disinfected.


The Waste Management team worked alongside the Sustainability Manager to obtain approval for a 1-month trial with healthcare workers evaluating the system. The trial was reviewed and evaluated by a committee from several departments throughout the DHB. The trial proved to meet all the DHB’s objectived and was a success. Since the trial the Daniels Sharpsmart system has been rolled out at both Taranaki Base Hospital and Hawera Hospital. The implementation of the Daniels Sharpsmart system has contributed greatly to the DHB’s reduction of waste policy. Regular auditing of the sharps containers is reported, and the system has minimised additional costs associated with purchasing single-use containers. This initiative including the data and reporting helped the DHB with their move to becoming Toitū accredited.



Sharps plastic diverted from landfill



Single-use containers diverted from landfill by switching to a reusable container



Washes is the lifespan of the reusable containers

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