Vidant Health: Waste reduction case study


Critical access hospitals such as the 6-bed Vidant Bertie and the 49-bed Vidant Chowan in eastern North Carolina, can make significant improvements in waste reduction despite the relatively small volumes of waste they generate. By installing a recycling dumpster at Bertie and compactors at Chowan, EVS Manager Lizbeth White has seen a 34 percent decrease in cost of solid waste removal at one hospital and 63 percent volume reduction at another. Key waste reduction programs include replacing desk-side trash cans with recycling bins, 96 percent polystyrene elimination, and recycling 67 percent of operating room (OR) waste. Small hospitals can be more conducive to experimenting with different initiatives, but face the challenge of spreading their ideas to the health system as a whole and scaling up their environmental and economic benefits.

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