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EP Catheter Recycling Reduces Hospitals Waste Footprint

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American hospitals produce around six million tons of waste each year.   Waste is obviously a problem in every sector; but in health care, because of the sheer volume of waste and the complexity of the waste stream, the issue is magnified.


Waste can be handled in many ways but how it is handled can significantly impact human health and the environment.   Waste more often than not winds up in a landfill where the waste breakdown and produces methane.  Methane has been shown to be a highly potent greenhouse gas with over six times the global warming potential than carbon dioxide.   Medical waste also ends up in a waste-to-energy incinerator.   Unfortunately, these also produce harmful greenhouse gases while concurrently emitting heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury, HCl gas, dioxins and other toxic substances.   Further, a toxic fly ash residue remains that must be managed.   In fact, incinerators have been shown to emit more CO2 per megawatt-hour than any fossil fuel-based power source – including coal-fired power plants.  This could help explain the increased risk of asthma in the surrounding communities that contain a waste-to-energy incinerator.


Minimizing Healthcare’s Waste Footprint



Waste reduction and prevention is often one of the first areas of focus for a hospital because of the cost savings and revenue generating potential of medical recycling.   For instance, the EP and Cath lab departments can not only reduce costs by recycling their EP catheters and ultrasound catheters, but they can earn extra revenue by earning a rebate per device.   This makes EP recycling a revenue positive endeavor and an easy first step to minimizing a facility’s waste footprint.

When a hospital thinks about waste reduction they must also focus on purchasing, as everything procured eventually becomes waste that a hospital no longer wants or can use.   More hospitals understand the importance of understanding their waste footprint.   To not only quantify the volumes being generated but also the associated costs.   These centers are increasingly looking for ways to benchmark their performance, as they seek new opportunities for reduction.   There is a growing recognition that the higher levels of waste being produced are indicative of inefficiencies happening across the organization.


Practice Green Health

Elite Cardiology Group recognizes Practice Greenhealth as the leading organization for helping hospitals become more environmentally responsible.  Practice Greenhealth is unique among international organizations to advocate for more sustainable solutions in healthcare.


Practice GreenHealth recently published a series of Guidance Documents that provide benefits, potential barriers and viable strategies for greening a healthcare facility.

They outline how to:

  • Develop a waste baseline
  • Set waste goals
  • Benchmarking waste performance


Practice Greenhealth


For more information, please visit


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