3 Recycling Tips For Medical Facilities

Posted on: 15 July 2015

According to the World Health Organization, only 20% of the waste generated by healthcare activities is hazardous or toxic. The other 80% of waste is just general waste. With so much non-hazardous waste coming out of healthcare facilities, it's vital that clinics, nursing homes, and hospitals take steps to ensure that any recyclable material is recycled, rather than ending up in landfills. If you're looking for ways to green up the waste management department of your medical facility, here are some tips that can help.

Set Up A Recycling Program For Patients and Tenants

Some percentage of the waste that comes from medical facilities is generated by the patients being treated at that facility. It only makes sense to ensure that patient waste is recycled along with everything else. In the case of clinics and hospitals where patients spend only a short time, that can be as simple as putting recycling containers in common areas and waiting rooms – most patients and visitors will be glad to use them.

Starting a patient recycling initiative can be a little more complicated in a long term care facility where the patients are also residents. However, it can ultimately be rewarding to make the effort, and many patients will enjoy participating. Educate the residents about the benefits of recycling, designate locations for them to turn their recyclables in on a regular basis. Encourage residents, as well as staff and visitors, to get involved in Earth Day activities and other similar initiatives, or start your own sustainability campaigns.

Stock Up on Needed Recycling Equipment

An important part of waste management is having the right waste management equipment. If your equipment is substandard, in poor shape, or is out of date, you should look into upgrading.

At a minimum, you'll need a standard baler capable of producing small bales of recyclables that are easy to handle. This will save your waste management staff time and effort in your stockrooms. You should also have trash compactors for the utility rooms and kitchens to reduce the amount of space that your trash and recyclables take up.

Reuse When Possible

Obviously, most of the medical equipment that your staff members deal with is meant for single-usage. However, there are many things used in the day-to-day operation of a medical facility that can be saved and reused.

Set up stations where used items can collected and distributed for reuse. Plastic storage containers, hangers, and various office supplies should all be retained, cleaned if necessary, and reused if possible.

By being mindful of opportunities to collect recyclables, practicing efficient waste management, and reusing items over again when it's safe to do so, you can help produce a cleaner, safer world while providing high quality healthcare. Contact a company like C-TEC Compactors & Balers for more information.