How To Start a Hospital Recycling Program

How To Start a Hospital Recycling Program

To the untrained eye, a hospital may appear to be one of the most chaotic places in the world. There is a constant barrage of visual and auditory stimuli, all competing for your attention, each more cryptic and ominous-sounding than the last. With so much happening at such a break-neck pace, it’s hard to imagine how anything gets done, and adding another component that must compete for the spotlight seems almost impossible.

But some programs, specifically those aimed at waste reduction and recycling, offer many benefits to hospital patients, staff, and administrators. Instituting one of these programs creates many areas of growth for the hospital that would never otherwise be possible. Here is a guide for how to start a hospital recycling program.

Form a Committee

The best way to begin any new program is to form a committee that will face the problem head-on. This group should include a diverse set of voices from different departments and ranks within the hospital hierarchy. This group will study the issue and create a recycling program designed to tackle the problems of the modern hospital. Establish clearly identifiable goals and create a pathway to achieving them.

Educate Staff

Including a wider range of voices on the committee is good for more than simply ensuring the consideration of each person’s concerns. This inclusion also makes it more likely that staff will be open to the program when it is presented to them. This education and adaptation by staff are crucial to making your recycling program run smoothly.

Utilize Bins With Clear Signage

In many hospitals, the trash cans around the building are a hodgepodge of whatever an office manager or intern can find at the office supplies store. For a recycling program to thrive in a hospital, it must include the patients, visitors, and vendors who walk through the doors each day. Placing recycling bins with easy-to-understand labels for each separate material increases participation by all parties.

Partner With Sustainable Suppliers

Using sustainable suppliers can help reduce the waste your hospital generates. Recycling is also about reuse, so make use of items that you can sterilize and put back in the field, such as scrubs and other medical equipment.

Stay Consistent

Throughout each department, floor, and building of the hospital complex, keep your recycling policies and programs the same. This will make adjusting easier when moving between areas or when employees transfer departments.

Regular Audits

An often forgotten but especially crucial step in how to start a hospital recycling program is to conduct regular evaluations to see if the program is making progress toward its goals l. These audits show the ways your recycling efforts are blooming and highlights areas that require different actions in order to achieve the desired results.

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