About a year and a half ago Altoona Regional started looking at how they could Go Green. Gary Zuckerman is chairing the committee. He says it's tough because hospitals have gone to a lot of disposable products to cut down on spreading infections. So they partnered with Stericycle who specializes in that issue.
Ed Barr says they started with a bigger recycling program; more bins and more education. The hospital is one of the first in the nation to develop a system to deal with old pharmaceuticals. They've also switched from disposable containers for needles and sharp objects to reusable ones. He also showed staff how to cut down on what goes into the Red Bags. These bags should only contain biological waste, because they can only go to certain landfills. But Barr says they often become a collection for all kinds of trash that should go elsewhere.
Zuckerman says they've already made some progress, but they're not done. He wants to cut their landfill output by 50%.