Sustainability, Waste Management and COVID-19

By By Dan Hounsell
April 13, 2021

Healthcare facilities have made great strides in recent years toward revamping materials procurement, use and disposal strategies and practices — as well as minimizing greenhouse gas emissions — in order to operate more sustainably. Unfortunately, issues forced onto facilities by the COVID-19 pandemic are creating potentially huge issues for the environment.

The very materials protecting people from COVID-19 infection over the last year could cause long-term harm to public health and the planet, according to The Providence Journal. The issue is the sheer volume of medical waste generated by the pandemic. 

In the country's more than 6,000 hospitals, healthcare workers have gone through multiple masks, gloves and protective gowns each day. Since mid-December, workers in the United States have administered more than 167 million coronavirus vaccine doses, with each individual dose coming with a needle and syringe and multiple doses coming with vials and packaging. 

Tons of COVID-related waste – including personal protective equipment, masks, sharps and nose swabs – end up in landfills often after being exposed to various treatment processes, including autoclaving and incineration. The treatment and disposal of medical waste is regulated by both federal and state governments.

See the latest posts on our homepage


Topic Area: Sustainable Operations

Recent Posts
Recent Posts

Mold Case Against Seattle Hospital Advances

Public health documents relate to Aspergillus mold infections at Seattle Children’s hospital


UT Health San Antonio Announces $430 Million Hospital

Eight-story, 144-bed hospital will offer specialty care in cancer, orthopedics and urology


Average Ransomware Demand on Healthcare: $4.6 Million

Healthcare second only to education among industries most affected by tracked ransomware incidents


Outpatient Centers Addressing Community Needs

Facilities integrated with hospitals in retail settings meet time and convenience factors for patient treatment


Micro-Hospital Brings Needed Services to Area

12-bed facility will include emergency department and operating rooms


Post Comment


News & Updates • Webcast Alerts • Building Technologies

All fields are required.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.