A NSW Government website


Staff Uniform Recycling

Outfits to Fitouts

Recycling HNELHD uniforms into green ceramic tiles for the new John Hunter Health and Innovation Precinct.

HNELHD staff have the opportunity to be the fabric of the new John Hunter Health and Innovation Precinct by recycling their old uniforms into green ceramic tiles.

We have now completed four collection drives for old staff uniforms across the uniforms. For the month of April 2024, uniform collection boxes will be available in the following locations:

  • East Maitland Community Health Centre 
  • Cessnock Hospital 
  • Dungog Hospital

We have plans to roll out collections to other facilities in the district in the coming months.

Before placing a uniform order, please consider the waste hierarchy:

  • REDUCE: Avoid ordering new uniforms just because you can. Only order new uniforms if you need them.
  • REUSE: Does your department have a uniform pool? A uniform pool is a great asset for new starters, staff running low on supplies or staff that have changing needs. If your department does not have a uniform pool, consider discussing this option within your team. If you have uniform items in good condition that you no longer need (e.g. no longer fit you, maternity items, change in role) aim to donate these items to your department uniform pool.
  • RECYCLE: If your old uniforms are beyond wear do not send them to landfill. The Sustainability Project Team will be running collection drives to collect these unwearable uniform items and send them to our recycling partner.

Why should we recycle uniforms?

HNELHD has an ambitious Sustainability Strategy with a goal of zero waste to landfill by 2030. The textile industry accounts for 10% of the world’s carbon emissions1. It is reported that in Australia, 800,000 tonnes of textile waste is sent to landfill each year2.

What will the uniforms be recycled into?

HNELHD has partnered with Kandui Technologies who recycle textiles into “green ceramic” tiles. Our recycled uniforms will be transformed into “green ceramic” tiles that will be utilised in the new John Hunter Health and Innovation Precinct.

What CAN be included in the collection box?

Any clean dry NSW Health uniforms (HNELHD and HealthShare) including:

  • Scrubs (including tops and bottoms)
  • Polo shirts
  • Button up shirts
  • Trousers, shorts and skirts
  • Knitwear (including cardigans, jumpers and vests)
  • Outerwear (including jackets and vests)

What CANNOT be included in the collection box?

General clothing items that are not part of NSW Health uniform are outside of the scope of this project and cannot be included in the collection for recycling. Additionally, shoes, socks, underwear, hats and belts cannot be accepted.

General clothing should never be sent to landfill as there are a number of community led textile recycling programs available.

Can I participate even though my workplace is not hosting a collection?

There are plans to roll out staged uniform recycling collection drives across the district over the next 12 months so that all HNELHD staff can participate in this program.

In the meantime, staff across the district can send old uniforms via internal mail to: The Sustainability Office,  District Headquarters, Rankin Park Campus.

If you have any questions relating to the HNELHD Uniform Recycling Program please contact:

HNELHD Sustainability Project Officer: Alana Stoeger at Alana.Stoeger@health.nsw.gov.au

If you have any questions relating to the HNELHD Sustainability Strategy or other Sustainability Projects please don’t hesitate to contact:

HNELHD Sustainability Project Team at HNELHD-SustainableHealthcare2030@health.nsw.gov.au