Barrier Mapping Case Study: The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is striving to become a zero-waste campus by 2025 (i.e., 90% diversion of non-hazardous waste away from landfills) through an economically sustainable waste diversion program. To make progress towards this ambitious goal within a three-year deadline, the medical center must rapidly ramp up its waste diversion and waste prevention practices. The institution has identified three key barriers it must overcome to achieve its zero-waste goal:
1. Staffing and training resource constraints
2. Lack of accurate and real-time data
3. Space limitations in its facilities
This case study explores these barriers in greater detail and outlines the solutions identified by the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. As part of the solutions identified, the institution launched an advanced recycling pilot program with Freepoint Eco-Systems, as proof of concept for its full network of facilities. Two outpatient care locations were chosen for the pilot because they are segregated from the rest of the medical campus, allowing for an isolated pilot program. This will allow the organization to train and monitor staff recycling practices in small group settings and evaluate practices, before expanding the pilot to the main medical campus.
To date, several key success metrics have been identified:
- As of FY 2022, the institution has diverted 37.4% of non-hazardous waste from landfill.
- Through the advanced recycling pilot project, approximately 550 pounds of healthcare plastics are collected weekly from the two ambulatory locations.
- As of FY 2022, the institution has diverted 5 tons of blue sterilization wrap from landfill.
- From August 2021 to January 2023, the institution diverted 23,558 pounds of healthcare plastics to Freepoint Eco-Systems for recycling.
HPRC is a private technical coalition of industry peers across healthcare, recycling, and waste management industries seeking to improve the recyclability of plastic products within healthcare. Made up of brand-leading and globally recognized members, HPRC explores ways to enhance the economics, efficiency, and ultimately the quality and quantity of healthcare plastics collected for recycling. HPRC is active across the United States and Europe working with key stakeholders, identifying opportunities for collaboration, and participating in industry events and forums. For more information, visit www.hprc.org and follow HPRC on LinkedIn.