Earth Day, every day: Fairview reduces, recycles at our sites

It’s Earth Day year ‘round at Fairview Health Services. Our recycling and waste management professionals put their expertise to work, keeping more than 2,000 tons of material out of landfills in 2013.

Green team members stand in front of recycled bales of “blue wrap,” used to wrap operating room instruments. From 2010-2013, we recycled 64 tons of blue wrap.

“Fairview’s mission is to improve the health of the communities we serve,” says Wesli Waters, sustainability program manager.

“We do that through medical care, but also by being good stewards of the environment we all live in.”

“We established a Green Team to promote sustainable practices throughout the organization. The work has had a huge impact,” she adds.

Results mushroom; tons kept out of landfill

The Green Team is made up of people from throughout Fairview so they can develop initiatives with the broadest range of applications. The results mushroom when carried out by a large health care system.

The success of our green work is measured in tons of material kept out of the landfill, which preserves our environment and reduces our garbage bill.

A Nutrition Services aide at University of Minnesota Medical Center helps collect food scraps for composting.

Among the savings we have realized:

  • 595 tons of food composted or donated to the Food to Hogs program from 2011-2013
  • $1.5 million in annual savings connected to redistribution of usable supplies through our internal Reuse Stores since 2012
  • 64 tons of operating room clean instrument wraps (blue wrap) and 35 tons of shrink wrap and soft plastic recycled between 2010-2013

A new initiative, using compostable coolers for pharmacy deliveries, was launched on Jan. 1, 2013. We expect to keep 44,000 Styrofoam coolers out of landfills each year. The new coolers are made from corn starch.

This is just part of what we’re doing to minimize our environmental footprint. Find out more about our sustainability efforts.

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