CDH Wins National Environmental Award

NORTHAMPTON – Cooley Dickinson Hospital was recently recognized by Hospitals for a Healthy Environment, H2E, a national initiative to improve health care’s environmental performance. On behalf of CDH, Garry Hills, environmental services director, accepted the award at the H2E awards breakfast at the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago.

 

The H2E Partners for Change Award recognizes hospitals that have made significant and sustainable progress toward reducing waste, preventing pollution, and eliminating mercury. Recipients of the award reduce, reuse, and/or recycle at least 10{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} of their total waste. Currently, Cooley Dickinson is recycling more than 50{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} of its total waste.

In the summer of 2004, Hills spoke to Cooley Dickinson managers about the amount of trash the organization had generated over the previous nine months. “Managers were shocked to hear that 439 tons of waste had been generated,” he recalls. “I said, ’if we can make sure that the trash is disposed of properly, it could save us a lot of money.’ And that’s basically what we did.”

Thanks to an increased awareness of proper trash disposal, the amount of confidential document destruction was reduced by more than 50{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} over the past eight months. By better educating staff and installing different recycling containers, Hills has seen the hospital save an average of $900 to $1,000 per month on destruction of confidential material.

That success came on the heels of other improvements. Hills has also looked at ways to streamline the disposal of biohazardous waste. “We re-educated staff and created guidelines for what goes where. This effort has yielded results.”

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