Take advantage of recycling programs
Environmental Impact: Many industries, including the health care industry, produce a number of complex waste streams, and proper handling of these streams is critical to ensuring human and environmental health. For example, UH hospitals generate hundreds of pounds of waste every day -- regulated medical waste, municipal solid waste, recyclable materials, hazardous waste, universal waste (think batteries), pharmaceutical waste, compostable material, reusable materials (donated supplies and furniture), and construction and demolition debris, just to name a few. Waste that ends up in the landfill can contribute to the production of dangerous greenhouse gases such as methane. Medical waste that goes into incinerators can produce byproducts such as heavy metals, dioxins, CO2, fly ash residue and other toxins that are detrimental to human and environmental health. Conscientious management of waste can minimize contribution to these byproducts, both at UH and non-UH facilities and workplaces. Properly disposing of waste materials can save organizations hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.
What you can do: Whenever you have something to throw away, always ask yourself the question, Where do I place my waste? Know that whenever you properly dispose of something, you are being environmentally responsible and are also saving money which can otherwise be invested elsewhere. Recycling, for example, is often less expensive for disposal than throwing something in the trash.
What you can do as a UH employee: At UH, we have implemented a single stream recycling program, which means that any recycling bin will accept non-confidential paper (confidential paper goes into the secure Cintas containers), plastic numbered 1-7, aluminum, and glass.