Emergency departments of hospitals generate significant amounts of environmentally harmful waste which could be reduced through basic changes to disposal policies and practices, while producing lower operating costs, researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have found.
Efforts to optimize the daily waste stream through improvements such as switching from disposable to reusable items in the ED, better sorting of infectious waste, and more effective recycling of items like glass and aluminum could have meaningful impact both environmentally and financially, according to the study published in the Western Journal of Emergency Medicine.
Healthcare facilities in the U.S. generate 6,600 metric tons of waste each day, making them the second largest contributor to landfill waste (next to the food industry). They also produce 10 percent of all greenhouse gas emission as well as other pollutants known to adversely affect human health…
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