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Waikato District Health Board

Waikato DHB

Waikato DHB serves a population of more than 425,000 and covers more than 21,000km2. It stretches from northern Coromandel to close to Mt Ruapehu in the south, and from Raglan on the west coast to Waihi on the east.

Waikato District Health Board consists of five regional hospitals (Waikato, Thames, Te Kuiti, Tokoroa and Taumarunui). The use of single-use sharps collectors for the DHB were a major contributor of their plastic waste going to landfill. The current system they had in place for collecting and treating sharps waste came with supply issues and increased the following:

  • Increase in carbon emissions associated with disposing of the single-use collectors to landfill.
  • Staff had to tape down the collectors to contain the sharps waste, increasing health and safety risks.

As a critical service, the DHB were looking for a solution without supply issues. They also had set strong sustainability goals for obtaining Toitū Accreditation and were looking for a long-term and sustainable solution for collecting their sharps waste.


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:

  • Able to meet legal requirements and the Ministry of Health’s expectations to reduce carbon emissions and waste to landfill.
  • Would align to the DHBs sustainability focus for gaining their Toitū Accreditation for waste reduction.
  • Could ensure supply to their 5 large hospitals and community sites without restriction.


Waste Management’s specialist Medical Waste team worked alongside the DHB’s Clinical Product Manager 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 obtained approval for a 1-month trial with healthcare workers to evaluate the system. The trial was then reviewed by a committee from several departments throughout the DHB. The trial was a success and the Daniels Sharpsmart system has been rolled out at Waikato Hospital, Thames Hospital, Te Kuiti Hospital, Tokoroa Hospital and Taumarunui Hospital. The implementation of the Daniels Sharpsmart system has contributed greatly to the DHB’s reduction of waste policy and supply security. Regular auditing of the sharps containers is reported on, and the system has minimised additional costs associated with purchasing single-use containers. This initiative and data and reporting has helped the DHB with their move to becoming Toitū accredited.



Reusable sharps containers implemented for the DHB

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500 washes

The lifespan of the reusable containers


30 years

Lifespan of Daniels Sharpsmart collector

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