On average U.S. hospitals generate approximately 7,000 to 12,000 tons of waste per day, with non-hazardous solid waste representing up to 80 percent of the total. Most waste is preventable to a certain extent and the majority of non-hazardous solid waste can be recycled, composted or otherwise diverted from landfill or incineration. On average U.S. hospitals, generate 26lbs of waste a day per patient bed. This study was based on a report conducted by the U.S. EPA and Healthy Hospital Initiative in 2013.
In a 1998 Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. EPA and the American Hospital Association mandating reduction in total waste volumes, hospitals have initiated ambitious waste prevention, sorting and recycling programs. Recycling protects natural resources and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by reducing demand for virgin materials and reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators.
In 2013 The University of Chicago Medicine entered a partnership with Stericycle for an intergrated waste services program at the facility. Stericycle is the national leader in healthcare waste services and is works closely with the UCM management team on compliance and environmental performance for the various waste streams.
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Eddie Johnson Environmental Services
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Ayana Gray IWSS Healthcare Sustainability Specialist - Stericycle
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