© 2022 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.Aim: This study was conducted to examine the opinions of nurses working in surgical wards on recycling and medical waste management. Background: Surgical services and operating rooms are the most waste-generating parts of health institutions. The primary purpose of waste management is to ensure waste minimization and increase recycling. Method: In this qualitative study, in-depth interviews were conducted with 15 nurses. The data were analysed by the content analysis method. The COREQ checklist was used in the study. Results: As a result of the study, four main themes were determined: Barriers in medical waste and recycling management, solution suggestions in medical waste and recycling management, waste of medical and consumable materials and the effect of the pandemic process on medical waste and recycling management. Conclusion: Medical waste and recycling management was interrupted due to lack of education, emergencies, hiring of untrained personnel and workload. During the pandemic, medical waste increased, and it could not be recycled. The solution suggestions are training at frequent intervals, monitoring by the responsible nurses and imposing sanctions on those who do not comply. Implications for Nursing Management: Knowing nurses' obstacles in managing medical waste and recycling and putting forward solutions in this regard affects sustainability. Knowing the obstacles to the management of medical waste and recycling by nurses could help in solutions.