Saint Clare’s Partners with Stericycle, Inc. to Implement Comprehensive Waste Diversion Program
Program Aims to Help Improve Air and Water Quality, Community Health and Safety; Plans to Significantly Reduce Carbon Footprint with Reusable Sharps Containers
September 29, 2011
Saint Clare’s Health System announced today its commitment to help improve air and water quality by partnering with Stericycle, Inc. to implement its Sustainable Solutions TM hospital waste stream management service that includes a strong focus on green initiatives, ranging from keeping pharmaceuticals out of the water or plastic and cardboard out of landfills. Stericycle is a national leader in healthcare waste stream management.
“At Saint Clare’s, we are proud to be among an increasing number of leading hospitals in the country implementing best practices across multiple waste streams to focus on recycling opportunities and solid waste reduction,” said Jan Bednar, RN, MHA, executive director of Emergency Medical Services, Perioperative Services and Environmental Services at Saint Clare’s Health System. “With Stericycle, we are decreasing the hospital’s impact on the environment and helping to improve air and water quality, community health and safety.”
As part of its recycling and waste diversion program, Saint Clare’s is reducing carbon emissions by switching to a proactive service utilizing reusable sharps containers, such as those used for needles and scalpels, that prevent a significant amount of cardboard and plastic from going into landfills each year. The hospital is launching Stericycle’s Sharps Management Service using Bio Systems reusable containers which keeps an average of 600 disposable sharps containers from going to the landfill for each reusable container used.
In one year using the system, Saint Clare’s expects to prevent 48,504 pounds of carbon emissions by diverting 81,746 pounds of plastic and 6,315 pounds of cardboard from landfills. These numbers are the equivalent of not burning 2,498 gallons of gasoline (1).
Since 1986, U.S. hospitals like Saint Clare’s that are using the Stericycle Sharps Management System have kept more than 103 million disposable containers out of landfills.
A study (2) published in JAMA, found that the American healthcare sector accounts for 8 percent of the U.S. carbon footprint. The analysis found that hospitals are by far the largest contributor of carbon emissions in the healthcare sector. As hospitals begin to explore environmental best practices, “green teams” are seeking ways to improve facility and health systems’ practices. Few tools exist that specifically help determine a hospital’s environmental impact. The Stericycle Carbon Footprint Estimator (1) tool is designed to help U.S. hospital leaders determine the amount of plastic, cardboard and resulting CO2 emissions they are able to keep out of the environment by switching a healthcare facility or hospital system from disposable sharps containers to reusable containers.
About Saint Clare’s Health System
Saint Clare’s Health System, which has served the healthcare needs of northwestern New Jersey residents since 1895, is the region’s premier provider of community-based healthcare and behavioral health services. Saint Clare’s operates hospitals in Boonton Township, Denville, Dover and Sussex Borough and other facilities located throughout Morris and Sussex counties. For more information about Saint Clare’s Health System, please visit www.saintclares.org.
Saint Clare’s is part of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), a national nonprofit health organization with headquarters in Denver, Colorado. The faith-based system operates in 19 states and includes 73 hospitals; 40 long-term care, assisted- and residential-living facilities; two community health-services organizations; and home health agencies.
2 The University of Chicago Medical Center