Northwell targets medical waste

Northwell Health plans to annually treat more than 500,000 pounds of regulated medical waste in its core laboratory, which processes samples from more than 20,000 patients every day. 

The New Hyde Park, N.Y.-based system is spearheading the project with Envetec Sustainable Technologies' Generations technology as part of its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emission by 50% by 2030, according to a Jan. 3 news release. 

The tool treats medical waste, including single-use laboratory plastics, glass, personal protective equipment and sharps containers. 

Historically, the medical waste was set for landfills, transportation or autoclaving for sterilization. Now, the largest commercial lab in New York is expecting to decrease waste-related Scope 3 emissions by as much as 90%, according to the release. Scope 3 emissions are those indirectly related to a business but often result in a majority of the organization's total emissions. 

"At Northwell, we have a responsibility to implement sustainable practices, and this includes a public pledge to increase waste recycling rates to 25% of total waste volume by 2027," said Donna Drummond, senior vice president, chief expense officer and chief sustainability officer. "To help us get there, we must collaborate across the entire supply chain and identify new technologies to support a more circular and sustainable waste management system."

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