MSHA expands recycling program through contract with Stericycle


JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Mountain States Health Alliance announced a new partnership this week that will dramatically expand the recycling program at Johnson City Medical Center (JCMC), MSHA’s flagship hospital. 

“JCMC currently recycles about 7 percent of its total waste,” said Tony Benton, MSHA’s Vice President of Strategic Planning and chair of MSHA’s Earth Care committee. “This partnership with Stericycle will allow us to capture much more recyclable material throughout the hospital, bringing our recycle rate up to as much as 31 percent of our total waste stream.”

Recycling programs at JCMC began at the grassroots level, with select departments capturing their own recyclables through initiatives set forth by MSHA team members. The Stericycle contract will allow the entire hospital to participate in recycling, and will greatly simplify the process. The single-stream waste management system will allow clinicians, team members, visitors and patients to use just two receptacles – one for trash and one for all recyclables. Stericycle will be responsible for sorting and transporting all the recyclable material. 

As part of the program, JCMC will begin using reusable sharps containers. It is estimated that every reusable sharps container employed will keep 600 disposable containers out of landfills. According to Stericycle figures, the sharps management system at JCMC is expected to annually divert 188,371 pounds of plastic and 14,552 pounds of cardboard from landfills, preventing 112,200 pounds of CO2 emissions. This carbon footprint reduction is equivalent to not burning 5,755 gallons of gas.

“This initiative demonstrates MSHA’s commitment to caring not just for our patients, but for the environment as well,” said Benton. “We know that recycling is the right thing to do, and we’re proud of our team members who have championed this cause to date. If this pilot program at JCMC produces the results we expect, we hope to roll it out to other MSHA facilities to promote recycling throughout the whole system.” 
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