Waste Minimization & Landfill Diversion at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
At NewYork-Presbyterian, we are committed to reducing waste generation within our hospitals, clinics, and corporate sites. By engaging our employees to minimize and divert waste from landfills, we are protecting the environment and improving air, land, and water quality in the communities we serve. To reduce waste generation, the hospital has deployed a number of source reduction and landfill diversion strategies including traditional single-stream recycling, e-waste recycling, composting, single-use device reprocessing, and supply donation.
NewYork-Presbyterian uses interactive games to educate front-line staff about landfill diversion." In partnership with Environmental Health and Safety, NewYork-Presbyterian’s sustainability department runs an ongoing “Think Before You Throw” campaign aimed at educating all staff members, including nurses, physicians, and non-clinical staff on proper sorting practices within the hospital. As part of this campaign, employees learn about the hospital’s single-stream recycling program whereby non-confidential paper products, metal, glass, and rigid plastics are collected in the hospital’s designated recycling bins. Landfill diversion education is built into NYP’s new employee orientation and annual hospital training to ensure all employees are informed about this important topic. The hospital also leverages a number of interactive games to educate front-line staff about landfill diversion at employee events throughout the year.
Recycling in the Operating Room
According to Practice Greenhealth, the Operating Room is often the largest generator of waste within a hospital setting, accounting for between 20-33% of total waste generated in the hospital. At NewYork-Presbyterian, many of our operating rooms maintain robust recycling programs, ensuring that cardboard boxes, rigid plastic packaging, and plastic bottles are diverted into the hospital’s recycling stream. This program also helps to support our regulated medical waste minimization efforts.
As part of our continued commitment to environmentally responsible business operations, NewYork-Presbyterian has partnered with our office supply vendor to establish a robust toner recycling program. By disposing of used toner in the hospital’s designated toner recycling bins, these toners are either remanufactured or separated into raw materials which are then recovered and reused. The closed-loop process ensures no waste reaches the landfill and reduces the demand for raw materials by reusing toner cartridge byproducts.
E-Waste Recycling at NewYork-Presbyterian
According to an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report, the United States discards over 2.35 million tons of electronic products annually, and only about 25 percent is recycled. At NewYork-Presbyterian, we are proud to work with an e-stewards certified recycler to ensure proper data destruction and environmentally responsible electronics management of all electronics which are phased out of our hospital system. Electronic items recycled include computers and electronic waste, batteries, florescent lamps, and X-Ray Film.
Single-Use Device Reprocessing
NewYork-Presbyterian maintains a robust clinical device reprocessing partnership with Stryker Sustainability. Through this partnership, select single-use devices which would otherwise be discarded are collected from the hospital’s patient care areas, operating rooms, and EP labs. These items are then sent to a reprocessing facility where they can be safely remanufactured. The quality, physical characteristics, and performance functions of these devices are not affected and the devices remain safe and effective for their appropriate clinical use. Through this closed-loop solution, NYP reduces the amount of waste it generates while realizing cost savings through the reduced purchase of new products.
Supply Donation & Charitable Partnerships
As a world-class academic medical center, we are persistently pursuing advancements aimed at improving patient outcomes and operational efficiency. As a result, the hospital often phases out equipment and supplies which still can still be used to provide health services to those in need. NewYork-Presbyterian is proud to work closely with The Afya Foundation, an organization which rescues no-longer-needed items from hospitals and delivers them to humanitarian efforts in the community and overseas. NewYork-Presbyterian employees and community members are deeply engaged in this effort and often participate in “pack-a-thon” volunteer days or uniform drives to further support the work of The Afya Foundation.