WASTE RECYCLING CONSIDERATIONS AND
FACILITIES, HOSPITALS AND MEDICAL CENTERS
(For More Information Read the Article Below the Equipment - Material Table)
Waste & Recycling Equipment Category
Brief Description / Typical Application
Main Material Classes
(Select the materials below for additional information)
Healthcare facilities can use Outdoor Compacting Dumpsters to greatly reduce Waste Hauler requirements.
Typically hospitals place Indoor Compactors on each floor in the utility room and trash hauling requirements are huge
|Red Bag Waste Processor||New innovations in the treatment of Red Bag Waste are reducing the costs significantly.||Red Bag Waste|
|30" High Density Baler||Bales a variety of materials into dense bales||Aluminum Cans||HDPE||PET|
|36" ” Stockroom Baler||Great Baler for Small areas||Cardboard||PET||Shrink Wrap|
Up to 175 lb bale weights of Cardboard
Up to 1,000 lb bales of cardboard
Great for Hospital cafeteria areas
Outdoor Compactor hauled directly to the landfill
|Single Stream Self Contained Compactors (with Two Compartments)||Large volume Hospitals and Medical Facilities can use one dual compartment compactor for processing both Recyclables and non-recyclables||
|Great for feeding trash from a Dock||Mixed Trash|
|Use multiple 2 yard Containers on Casters depending on trash volume||Mixed Trash|
|Load trash from the inside to a compactor on the outside||Mixed Trash|
|For crushing Fluorescent Bulbs||Bulbs only|
The trash profile of a Hosptial or Medical Center is generally 20% cardboard, 30% paper, 13% plastic, 27% organics / food waste/textiles, and 3% metal, 2% glass, and 5% other. Hospitals and Medical Centers generate approximately 16 pounds of of waste per occupied bed per day; 2 cubic yards per bed per month; which is the equivalent of 400 gallons per month per bed. Because of this enormous amount of trash, Hospitals and Medical Centers should seriously examine their waste stream for recyclables. There are several recyclable materials that generate enough volume to make it lucrative to remove them from the waste stream and/or recycle them. Some of these materials include corrugated cardboard, fluorescent lamps (mercury), aluminum cans, textiles (bedding and clothing), batteries, newspapers, computers and ink cartridges, steel cans, PET and HDPE, and office paper. Recyclable collection containers should be placed in administrative offices for collection of office paper, ink cartridges and batteries, all of which are worthwhile recyclables in hospitals. For greater efficiency, a Vertical Baler, Automatic Compactor or a Container-Ready Compactor can be used at a main collection point to compact office paper.
Corrugated boxes are generally the most lucrative recycling material to consider in streamlining a hospital's waste stream. Since corrugated boxes generally represent between 40 and 50% of the waste stream, hospitals should consider a dedicated vertical baler for recycling. The cardboard should be baled on-site for pick up by a recycling company. Brokers and recycling companies sometimes expect recyclable materials to be processed in a particular way before they pick them up. Cardboard should be baled in a vertical baler and bound with bale tie. Due to truck size, they usually require a certain size of bale also. Some may require that bales be approximately 800 pounds while others can accept bales up to 1,200 pounds. Check with your recycling company for more information on their requirements prior to purchasing a cardboard baler.
Storage of baled cardboard is fairly flexible. Even if stored outside, it can take several months to degrade baled OCC depending on the time of year. However, contaminants are an issue to consider. Contaminants ar usually limited to 5%. Cardboard contaminants can include wax/plastic coated cardboard, cereal and tissue boxes (chipboard/boxboard), magazines, soda/beer cartons (carrier stock). And of course all metals are usually prohibited contaminants along with other non-paper items such as glass, food, dirt, wood and plastics.
Depending on the quantity of cardboard generated, most hospitals achieve a payback of less than two years on a vertical baler used for baling cardboard.
Hospitals and Medical Centers use a substantial amount of fluorescent lamps. Spent fluorescent lamps which contain mercury, are regulated by U.S. EPA. These lamps are hazardous due to the mercury content and therefore can be dangerous to the environment and people. Keeping spent fluorescent lamps contained offers greater safety and prepares them for recycling. A Fluorescent Lamp Crusher is the best bet to efficiency and recycling of fluorescent lamps. Using a fluorescent bulb crusher is a good way to store and recycle fluorescent bulbs and follow regulatory requirements.
There are two primary types of plastic generated in hospitals. PETE and HDPE. These are incompatible resin types and should be collected separately for recycling.
PETE (Polyethylene Terephthalate)
Soda bottles are usually PETE and some custom plastic bottles. PETE consists of clear and green soft drink bottles, clean and green liquor bottles, some cooking oil containers, some coffee containers, and some small water containers. The 'mark' of PETE is labeled on the bottles, usually inconspicuously. The supplier of the bottles can be contacted for the type of plastic also.
To process, bottles must be rinsed and caps removed. When baled, 25 cubic yards of PETE bottles will equal an 800 pound bale. An 800 pound bale is generally required of recycling companies. Bales must be clean and dry. For PETE, recyclers usually require that you use 10gauge galvanized baling wire. Store PETE bales out of the sunlight and weather. Check with your hauler for bale size requirements as this varies.
Contaminants should be avoided. Recycling companies will usually refuse bales with more than 2% contamination. Contaminates include any other type of plastic (HDPE, PP, LDPE, PS, PVC), deteriorated PETE, stones, dirt, detergent and liquids, oils, pesticides or herbicides and of course medical waste.
HDPE (High Density Polyethylene)
HDPE is natural colored bottles and consist of milk containers (natural), some water containers and some juice containers.
To process HDPE for recycling, bottles should be rinsed with caps removed. When baled, approximately 40 cubic yards of HDPE will equal an 800 pound bale. An 800 pound bale is generally a standard size for recycling (check with your recycler). Recyclers usually require that bales are secured with 10 gauge galvanized baling wire and stored out of the weather and sunlight. Bales should also be clean and dry.
Bales are generally rejected when contaminated. Contaminates can include any other type of plastic (PETE, PVC, LDPE, PP, PS), dirt/mud, stones, pesticides or herbicides, deteriorated HDPE, detergents, oils and of course medical waste.
Aluminum cans are typically baled or compacted for preparation for pickup. Recycling companies usually require that cans be free of contaminants.
Iron, lead, other metals, plastic, paper, glass, dirt and foil are all considered contaminants to aluminum cans. Cafeteria 'non-container aluminum' should NOT be combined with aluminum cans and are also considered a contaminant. This includes items such as pie pans, and frozen food trays. UBC (used beverage containers) not meeting the industry requirements will usually be rejected.
Aluminum cans can be baled using a vertical or horizontal baler. A bottle and can baler will extract the liquid from the cans. The liquid can be routed to a drain. For larger quantities of UBC, a horizontal baler should be considered.
What's Needed for a Successful Full Scale Recycling Program?
To implement a full-scale recycling program each facility needs indoor recycling collection containers to be placed near generation points. Curb side collection containers can be used outdoors in parking areas and garages. Carts are used to transport the collected recyclable material to the main collection point. Vertical balers, horizontal balers, and compactors are used to prepare the materials for the recycling company to pick up. A pallet jack may be necessary to move and stack larger bales of cardboard.
Educating your employees on your recycling program is a key ingredient to being successful in any hospital. The more you can educate, the more participation you will have. The more education your employees gain, the more they will accept the program and the tasks associated with making it a success. Educate your staff on possible contaminants, how much your bills will be reduced by the program, safety considerations and new routines. Provide updates and success stories via e-mails and flyers. Reminding staff of processes and program issues and any contamination problems will continue the refinement of the program. Meet with staff regularly to see what issues or questions they have. And don't forget to obtain your employee's input to make them understand and feel their importance in your recycling program.
For a quick overview of Waste Reduction & Recycling Tips for Hospitals & Medical Centers, click here
For assistance in determining the best approach for your particular facility, email WasteCare Corporation at firstname.lastname@example.org and in addition to your contact information, let us know the approximate volume of trash being hauled from your facility each week or month and the approximate waste hauling cost each month and we will be glad to give you some suggestions.
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