Solid Waste and Single Stream Recycling

A strong recycling program leads to natural resource conservation, reduced pollution and waste disposal costs, and staff and visitor engagement. University Hospitals continues to improve its single stream recycling program and evaluate new specialized recycling programs for its facilities.

New recycling efforts in 2013 included a medical plastics recycling program in the operating rooms and a pallet recycling/reuse program at UH Case Medical Center, University Hospitals Bedford Medical Center and University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center. Expanded efforts to increase cardboard recycling, with market-rate rebates returning to the facility doing the segregation, resulted in almost 480 tons of segregated cardboard throughout the system. We also expanded a desk-side recycling program to office-only locations on our largest campus, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, and will continue to deploy the program throughout the system’s office locations to drive up recycling rates. Educational resources such as an interactive FAQ and online list of recyclable items on our Greening UH intranet site continue to be developed to improve our system’s recycling programs.

In general, 2013 saw continuously improved recycling performance compared to the previous two years, as illustrated in the following graphic:

UH Relative Recycling Volumes by Quarter

15 Environmental Excellence awards

UH received 15 Environmental Excellence awards from Practice Greenhealth, including the prestigious System for Change award, for our systemwide achievements in sustainability in 2013.