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Cleveland Clinic’s waste management is using more than 35 different waste streams to reach its landfill-diversion goals, according to information on the clinic website. For more than 10 years, the goal of the clinic’s interdepartmental zero-waste committee has been to reach 100 percent landfill diversion for all of the hospital’s non-hazardous waste.
In 2015, the organization completed a systemwide expansion of its operating room (OR) clinical plastics recycling program. The effort initially involved a partnership with Buckeye Industries and Cleveland Clinic waste vendor. But Buckeye closed down three facilities in 2017 and is no longer able to accept materials.
From 2013 to 2017, more than 440 tons of material was diverted from the landfill. Participating facilities competed monthly to see which team of caregivers could divert the most clinical plastics from the landfill. Since 2014, Cleveland Clinic has diverted about 47,000 tons from the landfill. In 2017, the landfill diversion rate, including construction and debris, was 36 percent.
The main campus led the enterprise by maintaining more than a 40 percent landfill diversion rate for seven months out of the year. The medical center’s recycling program has improved from 10 percent in 2007 to an average recycling rate of 35 percent today.
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