Health Care Waste & Toxics Reduction Tips
for small and medium size health care facilities
Optimizing waste & toxics reduction efforts makes sense for any health care facility, whether small, medium or large; non-profit or for-profit; rural or urban.
Though facility size and staff roles may vary, attention to improving products, practices, and waste management efforts supports the overall mission of every health care facility.
TIPS AND FACT SHEETS
Explore the links below for more facts and tips that will help small and medium-size health care facilities achieve greater waste reduction and resource efficiency.
USEFUL GENERAL RESOURCES
Health Care Waste & Toxics Reduction
These websites offer a broader scope of general and specific information on these and many other health care waste reduction/resource efficiency topics:
Washington State Department of Ecology Guide for Best Management Practices for Hospital Wastes (BMPs) (2005)
Sustainable Hospitals provides technical support to the health care industry for selecting products and work practices that reduce occupational and environmental hazards, maintain quality patient care, and contain costs.
Health Care Without Harm works to implement ecologically sound and healthy alternatives to health care practices that pollute the environment and contribute to disease.
Green Guide for Healthcare provides a quantifiable sustainable design toolkit integrating enhanced environmental and health principles and practices into the planning, design, construction, operations and maintenance of healthcare facilities.
Teleosis: Health Care professionals in Service of the Global Environment provides educational programs, tools and resources to help health practitioners integrate environmentally sound strategies into their practice and create a new model of care called Green Health Care.
Practice Greenhealth is a membership and networking organization for institutions in the healthcare community that have made a commitment to sustainable, eco-friendly practices and are engaged in the greening of healthcare to improve the health of patients, staff and the environment
Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MNTAP) health care pollution prevention website offers ideas and resources useful in any state or country, and information on the environmental and safety rules in Minnesota for the health care industry.
Try using a total cost assessment methodology when you investigate alternative practices. It will help you identify the true cost of each practice and give you better information to determine the economic viability/return on investment. See Washington State Deptartment of Ecology's website for a cost assessment template.
Hazardous and Dangerous Waste Management
To comply with Washington state regulations for properly managing hazardous/dangerous wastes:
- Washington State Department of Ecology's regulatory guidance on determining whether you are a small, medium, or large-quantity waste generator.
- Washington State Department of Ecology's waste designation guidance to help you identify and designate that portion of your waste stream which must be handled as dangerous waste.
This information is brought to you by the Washington Department of Ecology/Toxics Reduction Unit with assistance from the Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center (PPRC) . June 2010
Thanks to our internal and outside reviewers: WDOE (Nanette Brooks, Holly Cushman, Leatta Dahlhoff, Lori Rodriguez and Jenny Yoo) plus Michael Kyser (Madigan Army Medical Center), Sheila Lockwood (University of Washington Environmental Health & Safety), and Jack Rogers (Multicare Health System).