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OBJECTIVES: to identify the types, quantities and cost of the consumable materials sent, used, returned unopened and wasted in surgical operations; to classify the incidences of waste as avoidable or unavoidable losses, and to calculate the rate of waste of the consumable materials in the peri-operative period in the Surgical Center of a São Paulo university hospital. METHOD: a descriptive-exploratory case study with a quantitative approach. The convenience sample corresponded to 105 types ofdoi:10.1590/0104-1169.2920.2358 pmid:24402338 fatcat:cifjbs2iazaa7kvzgerl3dvrsm