How Cleveland Clinic manages its medical waste

Cleveland Clinic founded its Office for a Healthy Environment in 2007 with the goal of improving sustainability across the health system and has since come up with innovative techniques to manage its medical waste, Waste Today reported. 

The health system has a group of surgeons, nurses and physicians it calls "eco caregivers" who are responsible for educating all Cleveland Clinic employees on how to ensure all materials are put where they need to be for proper handling and disposal.

At its main campus, Cleveland Clinic has an underground tunnel system that manages waste from across several buildings. It has carts with color coded bags to help employees determine where they should put a specific type of waste. 

Employees take the carts containing the separated waste to the underground system, where automated guided vehicles take them in and out of the hospital. Cleveland Clinic has about 100 programmed robots that transport waste, Waste Today reported. 

The robots take the carts through tunnels to either an on-site autoclave where the medical waste is sterilized, or to a dock where unregulated waste and recyclables are picked up by Republic Services, a waste collection company. 

Cleveland Clinic also has a "know where to throw" education campaign to educate its employees on how to properly dispose of medical waste, according to Waste Today. It also has a Green the Operating Room Committee, tasked with finding ways to improve efficiency and costs surrounding waste disposal.

Read the full article here.

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