December 02, 2013
Tulane Medical Center launched a new program that focuses on reducing potential environmental impact from hospital waste. A national company known for its green healthcare waste stream solutions – Stericycle –has a strong focus on initiatives ranging from keeping pharmaceuticals out of the public water supply and plastic and cardboard out of landfills to recycling.
Tulane has joined other U.S. hospital leaders that since 1986 have kept nearly 140 million sharps containers out of landfills which is the equivalent of not burning 9.8 million gallons of gas.1 These leaders are increasing their commitment to air and water quality based environmental leadership. The new services that started in April have helped:
- Prevent the emissions of 16,440 pounds of carbon dioxide by not putting 28,176 pounds of plastic and 1,254 pounds of cardboard into landfills by not using disposable sharps containers
- These numbers equate to not burning 846 gallons of gas or 312 BBQ propane tanks
- One Bio Systems reusable sharps container keeps an average of 600 disposable sharps containers from going to the landfill
“Tulane Medical Center is just as committed to providing innovative services that promote sustainability as we are in the quality of patient care. Reusable containers that keep plastic and cardboard out of landfills is an example of making our community a better place to live and work as well as to get the best care possible,” said Jennifer Eslinger, COO, Tulane Medical Center.
Hospital teams are trained by healthcare compliance specialists regarding Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation regulations, and the Joint Commission standards that focus on hazardous or pharmaceutical waste. These changes are a way Tulane stays ahead of regulatory compliance while also reducing costs to reinvest the savings in more healthcare programs that benefit staff, patients and the community.