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.