Hospital facilities, doctor’s offices, and health and dental clinics typically have materials such as gloves, syringes, and gauze that are prepared for the medical professional to use, but are not. The unused medical materials are often disposed of along with used materials and other medical waste, despite the fact that they can be safely re-used.
Last year, MedShare, a re-distributor of medical surplus, collected over five hundred and fifty tons of surplus and unused medical supplies and made them available to free clinics, medical mission teams, and hospitals in impoverished areas in the United States and developing countries. MedShare currently partners with over eighty hospitals to re-use and recycle equipment and supplies that they cannot or will not use.
It is estimated that hospitals generate over two million tons of waste annually. Through working with MedShare, hospitals can divert more than five thousand different types of medical equipment and supplies. MedShare places recycling barrels in hospitals in key locations where supplies are typically used such as operating rooms and emergency rooms and provides training to staff on which items are ideal for recycling and donation. Bins are collected on a regular basis by MedShare and distributed to medical facilities in need of them. The organization provides an online ordering system so medical professionals at receiving facilities can request only those items that are needed – ensuring less waste.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: In the US we take items like examination gloves and gauze for granted, but that’s not the case in other countries. If your medical facility has a policy of disposing of all medical material regardless of their use, consider partnering with an organization like MedShare. It’ll reduce your amount of medical waste and help others in need around the globe.