Hospital plans to profit from recycling packaging used for surgical equipment

By Healthcare Facilities Today
April 15, 2013

Massachusetts General Hospital is starting a pilot program to recycle and sell blue wrap, according to an article in Healthcare Finance News. Blue wrap is used in operating rooms to package surgical equipment.

Currently, the hospital recycles about 15 percent of its trash, with a goal of eventually recycling or reusing 25 percent, says the article. Since 2007, the hospital has "recycled approximately 6.2 million pounds of paper; 3.7 million pounds of cardboard; and 408,572 pounds of plastics, bottles and cans," and will look to add food waste composting to their efforts.

A challenge for the urban hospital is finding the space for recycling containers and storage of recyclables.  The blue wrap isn't very heavy but it has a lot of bulk. The trick to making recycling such items profitable is for hospitals to band together in their efforts, the article says.

Another hospital which has had success in recycling blue wrap is Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, which partnered with Milwaukee-area healthcare facilities to collect and sell the wrap — to the tune of 5 tons diverted in August of 2012. The wrap is sold and made into pellets, which are then used to make new products.

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