Going Green? Depends on Your Environment
As a hospital employee, I recently had the privilege of seeing a patient through a serious operation all the way through a six-day hospital stay. While the technology used and the skill of the practitioners struck me with awe, the amount of recyclable supplies used in the cure was mind boggling--and nearly all of it wound up in the trash can.
That sparked a thought in my head that with all the talk about “going green”, what’s not universally deployed across companies is rationale and enthusiasm for going green. The successful operation and hospital stay posed many opportunities for material-based disposal of bandages, dressings, gauze, medical tape, syringes, tubes, etc. There seemed to be an endless supply of paper and plastic materials used, and the final resting place for most of this was the big bin in the corner labeled “trash”.
I think we are a long way from seeing recycle bins in patient rooms; a hospital’s bigger concern is minimizing the spread of infection. In the United States, we are all too familiar with those ubiquitous plastic “sharps” containers for the disposal of needles. Outside of this, the only other “triaging” of medical waste in a hospital is if there is patient residue on the waste, e.g., blood. This kind of waste has to be discarded in special bins for additional processing to
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