Did you know that the anaesthetic gases released by just one hospital annually in New Zealand has the same carbon footprint as 500 return flights between Auckland and London? 

Anaesthetic gases are just one aspect of pharmaceutical waste currently entering our ecosystems, insufficiently treated and unmonitored.

This unseen waste stream contains highly toxic chemicals that must be properly treated before disposal. 

So far, environmentally and economically sound solutions in New Zealand are minimal. It seems ironic that life-saving medical cures come at such a high cost to the environment – until now.

Join us for this eye-opening talk where you will learn about new technology being developed to literally bust waste with hot water and revolutionise how we dispose of pharmaceutical waste.


Associate Professor Dr Saeid Baroutian is a Chemical Engineer and leads the University’s Waste and Resource Recovery Research Group. His expertise centres on the development and design of novel intensified processes for resource recovery and waste minimisation with the use of separation and reaction engineering concepts. 

Dr Rob Burrell is an Anaesthetist and chair of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists Sustainability Group and was part of a team at Middlemore Hospital that reduced the hospital’s carbon footprint by more than 21 percent over five years, and that of volatile anaesthesia by 80 percent.

$7 flat parking rate on weekends at the Fanshawe St car park. Find out more.

Kids ride free on public transport on weekends and public holidays. Find out more

Last updated: 24 March 2021