Intermountain Healthcare is based in Salt Lake City, Utah, and is one of the leading healthcare providers in its region. Sustainability is part of its culture, and the system is currently focused on 12 specific areas for analysis and improvement. One of those areas is its waste stream.
As you recall, there are many different types of waste. See yesterday’s article, the waste overview from the Sustainability Roadmap for Hospitals, or Practice Greenhealth’s list of waste categories. To evaulate Intermountain’s waste production and identify opportunities, the system has created a Waste Stream Management Council. Here are some of the programs that the council has developed:
Reusable Sharps Container Program. Sharps containers can be used up to 600 times before being replaced. This will save over 240,000 pounds of plastic from a landfill.
Single Stream Recycling Program. All recycled items are placed into one container and sorted by the recycler. The Intermountain system recycled almost 740 tons in just three departments in six months.
Regulated Medical Waste Reduction. Intermountain’s Surgical Services teams are increasing the amount of product packaging and pre-surgery products that are recycled.
To learn more about initiatives at Intermountain Healthcare, visit its website.
Information source: Intermountain Healthcare Sustainability Annual Report 2013.