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A Practical Guide to Waste Data Collection using the Waste Data Tracking Tool

By Laura Brannen
Healthcare Design Magazine

Do you know how much waste your facility is generating? Literally tons, including solid waste, regulated medical waste, construction and demolition debris, recyclables, hazardous chemicals, electronics, and donation materials—practically everything that leaves your facility not walking on two legs! Even more importantly, do you know how much it costs to manage all those materials?

You cannot, however, manage if you don't know what you have. You cannot set targets if you don't know your benchmarks or where to start. To maximize your advantages in these areas, you must develop operations and financial action plans for improvement.

Practice Greenhealth has a Waste Data Tracking Tool (The Tool) to help you embark on a waste and environmental data collection and tracking program. The time spent initiating the project will yield a tremendous amount of information. Many new users report, “I didn't know what I didn't know!” The following is a step-by-step approach that will get you started and let you use the data year after year to improve your operations and environmental performance. (In full disclosure, Practice Greenhealth has a Waste Data Tracking Tool used by dozens of Partners. The Tool is included in membership. This article is about the benefits of collecting and understanding waste data, whether you use Greenhealth's tools or your own.)

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