Practice Greenhealth reports, that in the United States, health care facilities produce roughly 12 million pounds of trash that gets transported to landfills on a daily basis, thus accounting for approximately eight percent of the country’s carbon footprint. Health care institutions nationwide are uniting through sustainable initiatives that encourage healthier patients, healthier staff and healthier environments. By properly disposing of waste, individuals and departments throughout an organization, from senior leadership to front-line workers, can play an essential role in the success of a waste management program.

In December of 2011, the trash volume at Yale-New Haven Hospital (YNHH) was 76 percent of total waste. Regulated Medical Waste (RMW) was at 9 percent, and the hospital was recycling about 13 percent of its total waste stream through confidential shredding and cardboard. One year later, vast recycling efforts had decreased solid waste to 66 percent. Recycling climbed to 24 percent, and RMW dropped to 8 percent. Total savings for YNHH were over $50,000.

Not only does recycling create a healthier environment for the community, but it also can save money. By recycling single-stream products (paper, plastics, newspaper, cardboard, glass) as well as confidential material, mattresses, and construction debris, significant savings can be redeemed. Moreover, the hospital is understood to be looking into even more ways to reduce waste and deal with construction debris in the future such as investing in a self-dumping hopper.

In case you were not aware, a self-dumping hopper is a container used to temporarily store materials so that they can be dumped easily. Hoppers are used in construction, warehousing, agriculture, and other material handling industries to process, dispose of, or relocate materials. To learn more about hoppers, take a look at this useful guide where you can discover some clear and detailed Sanitation Benefits of Self-Dumping Hoppers.

Ultimately, while the politically correct idea of going green sounds exciting to leaders, cost savings grab their attention as well.

In 2012 Yale-New Haven Hospital achieved:

  • Two percent reduction (185,203 pounds) in medical waste volume
  • 95 percent of major construction and demolition debris recycled
  • 26 percent of paper, glass, plastic, cans, and cardboard recycled
  • 302,400 pounds of food waste diverted by utilizing the bio-digester
  • 28,674 pounds of waste diverted out of landfills due to medical device reprocessing

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