As you know from last weeks’ post, See It Shine … around the world, one of our favorite kinds of reuse is getting surplus medical supplies to global communities in need. Not only does it help humanitarian efforts, it also helps the environment, diverting materials from landfill (and the landfill fees that are better spent on patient care). That’s a win-win-win in anyone’s book.

UHN News has just profiled Ruth Turner, a nurse at Princess Margaret who volunteers her time to do just that.

Ruth Turner
Ruth Turner holds a bag of medical supplies to donate to Not Just Tourists. As she spreads the word to other colleagues at the cancer centre, bags like these are often left outside her door from groups that have begun collecting. (Photo: Not Just Tourists)

Here’s an except of her story FINDING A NEW HOME FOR UNUSED MEDICAL SUPPLIES (by Danielle Pereira):

Ruth has been volunteering with NJT for a decade and in that time her colleagues and other staff around the cancer centre have heard about the initiative and will leave bags and boxes outside of her office.


“These are not UHN supplies,” she explains. “These are supplies sent to the clinical trials group that we can’t use, or pre-packaged kits for certain procedures that have just expired that we’re not allowed to use and can’t return.”


Drug companies often send many kits to draw samples they want for their trial. Kits contain everything necessary to draw a sample from a patient – blood tubes, bandages, and needles.


“Sometimes one tube in the whole box could expire, so the whole box would have to be thrown out,” Ruth says. “Sometimes the needles used to draw the blood are not UHN approved so we can’t use them, or we don’t need the one they’re sending us, but it’s already nicely sealed and sterile.”


…Ruth says her experience as a volunteer helps her maintain a sense of perspective on what we take for granted.

Click here to read the whole story!

(it’s worth the click)

Along with Ruth, Operation Green also collects these materials at all UHN sites for charitable groups including Not Just Tourists. If your department has surplus medical supplies, contact

email if you have any of these things
email if you have any of these things


Operation Green 2016-17 Team! (L-R) Amy Chan, Kiyoka Sasaki, Tina Wang, Jessica He, (not in photo, Evelyn Waugh)
Operation Green 2016-17 Team! (L-R) Amy Chan, Kiyoka Sasaki, Tina Wang, Jessica He, (not in photo, Evelyn Waugh)