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WM & BD Offer Cradle-To-Cradle Solution For Recycling Medical Waste

EcoFinity™ Life Cycle Solution program aims to capture and recycle 70% of needles and syringes hospitals discard each year.

Waste Management Healthcare Solutions, and the world’s largest maker of medical sharps, BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), have teamed up to achieve sustainability goals.  Through the ecoFinity Life Cycle Solution program, WM will collect and recycle used sharps and BD will use the recycled material to create new sharps collection containers.

Based on the results of a pilot program at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, BD believes that more than 70 percent of its overall sharps waste may ultimately be recovered and recycled rather than be permanently disposed of in landfills.

Single use medical sharps, like needles, syringes, and lancets, have provided a necessary public health benefit, but can be costly.  Even more, they are increasingly a burden for healthcare facilities, because hospitals must find sustainable ways to discard the used sharps, which cannot be routinely discarded in landfills.

The ecoFinity Life Cycle Solution program is the first of its kind, and uses both WM’s expertise in the collection and management of medical waste and BD’s leadership as a global medical technology.  It’s designed to be a “cradle-to-cradle” solution that will enable hospitals to reduce their environmental footprint while maintaining a high level of patient care.

The program uses BD sharps containers to collect sharps waste within medical facilities.  WM Healthcare Solutions then collects the filled containers and transports the material to a nearby WM facility where it is treated to eliminate any potential biohazard. The material is then sent to a local recycling company, where raw materials are recovered.  BD then uses these post-hospital recycled materials, along with recycled materials from other sources, to make new BD collection containers.

The program is aimed at a greater overall management of resources available for the production of medical sharps.  Increased efficiency will ultimately lower direct costs to hospitals and limit the environmental impact of medical waste in general.

The collaboration between Waste Management and BD will help healthcare facilities reduce the materials that go into disposal, and achieve sustainability goals to reduce the environmental footprint of medication delivery.

About Sebrina Zerkus Smith

Professional writer, foodie. Lupus survivor. Loves pugs, wine, days at the beach and good movies. Takes recycling seriously, but not much else. Sebrina Zerkus Smith is a Southern Gal that has been scratching the writer’s itch for nearly 30 years. Her career began in Washington, D.C., in 1987, fresh out of collage and full of ideals. While plying her trade by day on congressional reps and senators, at night she burned the candle writing features for local newspapers and national magazines. She quickly realized that her southern upbringing gave her a unique and humorous voice that resonated with her readers. Eventually, she moved to Los Angeles where she pursued her dream of becoming a novelist and screenwriter. She paid her bills by working as a freelance writer for major marketing projects from studios such as CBS, NBC and Disney. Realizing that the future of writing lay with the internet, she was bitten by the blogging bug back in the 90’s, back before it was even called “blogging.” Then it was still just writing and trying to make a living. Through those early blogging years, Sebrina found passion and purpose. Over the past 10 years she has written articles for clients such as LightCues.com, MatterMore.com, Greenopolis, MacAddict, Yahoo, CNN and more. Today, Sebrina writes about a variety of topics including the Southern Experience, sustainability, clean water, food, gardening, sleep and her obsession with pugs. She is a regular paid contributor to WildOats.com as well as other entities. She now lives in Houston with her husband Jeff and their pug Newton. She hopes one day to complete her opus, Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed.

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