Editor-in-Chief Elisabeth Lisican showcases a handful of features to read in the April 2017 issue of Water & Wastes Digest.
More protection for community’s land and water resources
New York Hospital Queens announced the expansion of its sharps management system and pharmaceutical waste compliance programs. These initiatives will help reduce the amount of waste in landfills and demonstrate a commitment to water quality. New York Hospital Queens joins other leading hospitals across the U.S. that are increasing sustainability efforts related to waste streams.
When Mayor Michael Bloomberg challenged New York City hospitals to reduce greenhouse gas emission by 30% over 10 years, New York Hospital Queens accepted the challenge. The hospital is half way to the carbon emission goal and ahead of schedule. The hospital’s “green team” continuously finds ways to improve facility and health systems’ practices.
New York Hospital Queens has partnered with Stericycle, a medical waste management company, to enhance efforts in pharmaceutical and medical waste disposal, regular solid waste disposal, sharps disposal, and recycling of cardboard, paper, plastic, metal and glass.
The hospital installed the Sharps Management System using Bio Systems reusable containers, which significantly helps reduce the hospital’s carbon footprint. New York Hospital Queens expects to prevent 34,203 lb of carbon from being emitted annually by not sending 57,644 lb of plastic and 4,453 lb of cardboard to landfills. These numbers equate to conserving 1,761 gal of gasoline.
Another large part of the integrated initiative for New York Hospital Queens is implementing a pharmaceutical waste compliance program. Managing pharmaceutical waste can be complex and affect the nation’s water supply when pharmaceuticals are not disposed of properly. The Associated Press reported in 2008 that pharmaceuticals were detected in the drinking water of 41 million people living in states across the country.