In an effort to continue to be environmentally friendly, Madison County Hospital is going to expand their recycling efforts by way of an established “Green Team.”
“Every day, 230 million pounds of trash is generated, and only 25 percent gets recycled,” said Karen Summers, co-captain of the Green Team.
Beginning this spring, white paper, plastic, and metal will join the long list of items recycled by Madison County Hospital.
Currently, the hospital recycles items such as cardboard, batteries, cooking oil, florescent light bulbs, and toner cartridges.
To help with this new initiative, Karen Summers, the director of purchasing, and Ronnie Lewis, the director of facility services, asked for hospital employees to volunteer to be on the Green Team.
“The members of the Green Team volunteered because they believe in green initiatives and the benefits of recycling,” said Karen. “They include members of departments across the hospital including dietary, environmental services, and even physical therapy.”
After brainstorming the best way to promote the new recycling program, the Green Team decided to paint old office waste bins the color green and strategically place them throughout the hospital. Employees will then be encouraged to dispose of their white paper, which includes office paper, magazines, and newspapers, in the new recycling bins. Paper with sensitive material, such as patient information, will continue to go in secure boxes that go to a shredding company before it’s recycled. The Green Team will pick up the green boxes once or twice a week and take them to larger recycling bins.
The dietary department will also be able to take advantage of the new recycling efforts as now food cans and plastic containers can be recycled.
Not only does the recycling effort help the environment by keeping all these items out of a landfill and reprocessing the materials for future use, it also saves the hospital money. Like many large buildings, MCH is charged by the pound for trash to be collected. By recycling items instead of throwing them away, MCH generates less trash.
“Last year alone the hospital saved $30,000 and prevented hundreds of pounds of waste from going to a landfill,” said Ronnie. “We can help save the environment while saving money. It’s a win-win situation.”