530.332.5589 office; 530.588.4411 cell
Enloe to reduce carbon footprint with reusable sharps containers
CHICO, Calif., March 1, 2011 – Enloe Medical Center will reduce carbon emissions by switching from disposable sharps containers to a service providing reusable sharps containers. One reusable container prevents 600 disposable containers from going into landfills, according to Stericycle, which offers the service at Enloe. Sharps containers are filled with used medical needles and other sharp medical instruments.
With the Stericycle sharps management service, reusable containers are collected and taken to a treatment facility, where they are emptied, sanitized, inspected and then returned to hospitals ready for use. This prevents thousands of pounds of plastic and corrugated material from accumulating in landfills.
Since 1986, U.S. hospitals using the Bio Systems reusable containers have diverted more than 90 million disposable containers from landfills. Stericycle estimates that in a 12-month period, Enloe will eliminate 19,771 pounds of carbon dioxide by removing 33,320 pounds of plastic and 2,574 pounds of cardboard from the landfill. That equates to not burning 1,018 gallons of gas or 374 propane tanks for barbecues, the company said.
Since 2008, a Sustainability Taskforce at Enloe Medical Center has expanded the hospital’s recycling and ecologically sustainable practices. The group first broadened the recycling program by providing collection bins in the hospital for recycling plastic, aluminum and glass, and residential recycling bins for Enloe campus sites. More than 5,000 pounds are collected annually. Additionally, Enloe offers an Office Recycling Program on the organization’s intranet, which enables employees to trade office supplies. For years the medical center has also recycled items such as batteries, fluorescent lights, cardboard and pallets, donated medical equipment to Project S.A.V.E. and computers to Computers for Classrooms. Project S.A.V.E. (Salvage All Valuable Equipment) is an organization that recycles left-over medical supplies and equipment for third-world clinics.
Other sustainability efforts at Enloe include a commute-to-work program that provides transit subsidies and bicycle parking as well as a guaranteed ride home for employees using alternative transportation. Additionally, Enloe will install energy-efficient mechanical and electrical equipment for the new patient tower that will replace the equipment currently being used. A computer-controlled irrigation system designed to keep water use to a minimum by monitoring air temperature, wind speed and soil-moisture content has been installed at the Enloe Parking Structure and will be placed throughout the campus as part of the Enloe Century Project expansion. Window tinting on patient room windows at the medical center assists with energy efficiency in the hospital. And, a sustainable nutrition program at the hospital includes composting kitchen scraps, using trans-fat-free foods and hormone-free dairy products; purchasing organic coffee and free trade coffee as well as some local organic foods such as Lundberg rice.
Enloe Medical Center is a local, nonprofit health care organization. For more information, please call 530/332-7300 or visit us online at http://www.enloe.org. Enloe Medical Center is located at 1531 Esplanade Chico, Calif. 95926.