Cooper is continuing the process of going green. Various departments within the hospital are taking strides to become as sustainable and environmentally conscious as possible, and each hospital employee and visitor can help. Fran Cassidy and the Food and Nutrition Department have been environmentally friendly for years: purchasing locally grown produce, fair-trade coffee, cage-free eggs, and providing a menu with the cafeteria is giving discounts for use of reusable coffee cups, and has even begun investigating methods of composting for organic food waste.
Currently, the Environmental Safety Department and Cooper’s own Green Team have taken the first steps towards making the hospital environmentally sound. The first plan of action aims to reduce the overall amount of inappropriate hospital waste. By running a pilot program, the committee is hoping to make it easier to dispose of waste properly in each wing and department of the hospital. Conducted in the Oncology Department, the pilot program will enforce RCRA (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act) laws for chemo waste so that hazardous chemicals are disposed of properly and safely.
With introducing a new bin system, it will soon be more convenient to put regular waste in trash bins, recyclable waste in recycle bins, and hazardous materials in (new) black bins. Along with these different bins will be more clearly labeled signs, outlining which materials belong in which bins. We are further improving our waste reduction compliance with single-stream recycling, where all (listed) recyclable materials can go into one bin. We anticipate that these minor changes will make waste disposal in Cooper much simpler, will cut back costs from inappropriate waste disposal, and will help propel our hospital into being a more environmentally friendly campus.
So in the future, please take the extra few seconds to be sure that you are throwing your trash in the correct waste disposal bin. With your efforts, Cooper University Hospital can reduce its carbon footprint.