In the first five months of 2005, Children's Hospital recycled more than 60 tons of mixed paper waste. That means 1,035 trees and 426,000 gallons of water were not wasted. Soon, hospital recycling efforts will also include bottles and cans.
"Our goal is to not send anything to the landfills," says environmental services manager Clarence Dickerson. "We're getting there, slowly but surely."
New, gray plastic recycling bins labeled "Bottles and Cans," are being placed in kitchens, staff rooms and in the cafeteria. No need to feel guilty any more about tossing your empty Dr. Pepper containers in the garbage at Children's. (Admit it, you felt a twinge.)
A new vendor, Assured Shredding, will pick up the bottles and cans weekly.
As part of the new contract, Assured Shredding will also recycle Children's electronic waste, such as computers and monitors, at no cost to the hospital. Last year this service cost Children's more than $8,000.
None of the e-waste will be shipped and dismantled overseas. "It's all being recycled in the U.S," says Dickerson.
Normal paper waste will continue to be discarded in blue desk-side recycling containers. Remember, the ultimate in resource conservation is minimizing the use of such materials in the first place.