Newton Medical Center has earned a Best Practice designation for Environmental Excellence for its work in reducing medical waste sent to landfills.
The national award was from SterilMed Inc., a Minnesota-based healthcare cost containment company and reprocessor of single-use medical devices.
"At Newton Medical Center, our patients' quality of life is our biggest priority, and that does not end at the hospital doors," said James Weadick, CEO of Newton Medical Center, in a release. "In keeping more than 4,000 pounds of waste out of our landfills, we are helping to maintain the sustainability of our local environment. Less waste also means that we can pass along savings to our patients where the cost of medical supplies are concerned."
Newton Medical Center is one of more than 3,000 healthcare facilities in the U.S. that reprocess and recycle medical devices. Reprocessing diverts more than 5 million pounds of medical waste from landfills each year.
The American Hospital Association and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have called for American hospitals to reduce medical waste with a hospital goal of 50 percent reduction in medical waste volume by 2010. Current waste levels in U.S. hospitals produce over 6,000 tons of waste each day.