HPRC and Stanford Hospital & Clinics Conclude Clinical Recycling Pilot

Program Diverts 110 Tons of Packaging Material from Landfill Annually, Offers 75 percent Cost Savings
Jan 9, 2014 11:35 AM ET

January 9, 2014 /3BL Media/ - The Healthcare Plastics Recycling Council (HPRC) and Stanford Hospital & Clinics have concluded a six-month pilot study that analyzes data related to recyclable material types, volumes and flow through nine hospital departments as well as documents clinical recycling processes and lessons learned. The study developed comprehensive waste profiles across procedural, patient care and ancillary areas including operating room, ambulatory surgery, cardiac cath lab, interventional radiology, pre- and post-anesthesia, pharmacy and radiology at Stanford Hospital and Clinics in Palo Alto, California.

“We set out to gain a better understanding of plastic waste characterization within healthcare facilities, and through the tenacious leadership of Stanford, we now have detailed insight and process recommendations for efficient, high-quality and cost-effective recycling of plastics,” says Tod Christenson, Director of HPRC. “The results of this pilot will provide invaluable experience-based guidance to other hospitals seeking to establish a plastics recycling program in clinical settings.”

Stanford Hospital & Clinics’ clinical recycling program to-date will divert more than 110 tons of non-infectious packaging material from landfill annually, with plastics representing nearly 70 percent of that material. This will add an additional 9% of diversion to their 2012 diversion of 2,846 tons. In addition, Stanford has realized significant financial benefit associated with the program, as recycling collection offered a 75 percent cost savings compared to municipal waste collection. The pilot study was fully funded and implemented by Stanford Hospital & Clinics with technical support provided by HPRC.

“Clinical recycling is an important part of our overall sustainable waste management strategy here at Stanford,” says Krisanne Hanson, Director of Sustainability, Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. “We will continue to expand our recycling efforts throughout our hospital and clinics using the data and knowledge collected during this study to estimate diversion targets, inform planning and rollout strategies and drive program improvements. It’s truly an honor to be able to share our experiences and best practices with other hospitals seeking greater sustainability around clinical recycling.”

The complete pilot study report is available at www.hprc.org.


About HPRC
HPRC is a private technical coalition of industry peers across healthcare, recycling and waste management industries seeking to improve recyclability of plastic products within healthcare. HPRC is made up of ten brand leading and globally recognized members including Baxter, BD, Cardinal Health, Covidien, DuPont, Eastman Chemical Company, Johnson & Johnson, Kimberly-Clark, Perfecseal and SABIC Innovative Plastics. The council convenes biannually at meetings hosted by an HPRC member that include facility tours to further learning and knowledge sharing opportunities through first-hand demonstration of best practices in sustainable product and packaging design and recycling processes. For more information, visit www.hprc.org.

About Stanford Hospital & Clinics
Stanford Hospital & Clinics, located in Palo Alto, California with multiple facilities throughout the region, is internationally renowned for leading edge and coordinated care in cancer, neurosciences, cardiovascular Medicine, surgery, organ transplant, medicine specialties and primary care. Stanford Hospital & Clinics is part of Stanford Medicine, which includes Lucile Packard Children's Hospital and the Stanford University School of Medicine.  Throughout its history, Stanford has been at the forefront of discovery and innovations, as researchers and clinicians work together to improve health, alleviate suffering, and translate medical breakthroughs into better ways to deliver patient care.  Stanford Hospital & Clinics: Healing humanity through science and compassion, one patient at a time.  For more information, visit stanfordhospital.org.