Less Waste - Sustainability Initiatives
Waste Segregation and Recycling Program
Beginning July 2009, a new waste separation and recycling program was implemented to minimize regulated medical waste and maximize recycling. At that time, 61% of the waste stream was treated as regulated medical waste. After intensive training and ongoing education, UMMC is close to reaching its goal of 10% medical waste and 35% recycling. Below are a number of UMMC’s recycling programs.
Confidential Paper Recycling
Over 350 confidential paper collection consoles have been deployed throughout UMMC for the collection (and later shredding and recycling) of confidential paper. UMMC recycles over 234,000 pounds of confidential paper annually.
Alkaline Battery Recycling
This hospital-wide initiative to recycle used alkaline batteries was started by Denise Choiniere. Batteries are picked up by authorized personnel and sent to a local recycling plant.
Sharps container recycling
Over 1700 reusable sharps containers have replaced the disposable containers. Now, rather than the entire container being incinerated, the contents are mechanically emptied, the contents are incinerated, and the container is cleaned, disinfected and re-used. This program is diverting approximately 232,000 pounds of plastic from UMMC's waste stream annually.
Everything from computers to microwaves are recycled at a certified recycling facility specially equipped to handle confidential material. Over 32,000 pounds of material is collected and recycled annually at the Medical Center.
Cardboard Recycling/reusable totes
Everyday over 1,000 lbs of cardboard comes into the facility containing all the supplies necessary to take care of patients. UMMC worked with its distributer on a reusable tote program to reduce the amount of cardboard brought into the medical center. Additionally, all cardboard received is recycled.
Reusable sterile operating room gowns as well as a number of medical/surgical devices are reprocessed at FDA regulated facilities and reused throughout the facility diverting over 180,000 lbs from our waste stream.