Medical Sharps Recycling at New York Medical Center

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Medical Sharps Recycling Program at New York Medical Center19 April 2012

Montefiore Medical Center in New York City has introduced a system wide recycling program that diverts sharps from the waste stream and recycles the materials for use in new products.

According to the medical center, which is the University Hospital for Albert Einstein College of Medicine, it is the first integrated medical center in the U.S. to introduce such as system.

The center claimed that since the system was introduced last August it has collected and processed more than 348,500 pounds (158 tonnes) of needles and syringes for recycling.

The sharps recycling program, known as BD ecoFinity Life Cycle Solution, was launched at Montefiore in collaboration with environmental service provider, Waste Management (NYSE: WM) and BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), a medical technology developer.

According to Montefiore, before the program was introduced single-use sharps were collected in designated containers and incinerated off-site.

Now, sharps are collected, treated and processed by Waste Management to recover reusable plastic, glass and metal. BD then uses the recycled plastic to make the BD Recykleen Sharps Collectors, which are placed throughout Montefiore's three inpatient campuses and nearly 100 ambulatory sites in the Bronx and lower Westchester County.

In 2009 Montefiore enrolled in Mayor Michael Bloomberg's PlaNYC initiative to reduce its carbon footprint 30% by 2018. 

Currently the center said that it has achieved 50% of its goal by concentrating on several energy efficiency and waste reduction programs, including a system wide installation of energy-efficient lighting funded by a $1 million grant from the NY State Energy Research and Development Authority and the federal government.

Other initiatives currently underway at Montefiore include a porous pavement project, a green roof, transportation fleet upgrades, a bike-to-work program and the installation of energy-efficient technologies.

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