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{Past Event} - Greening the OR: RMW Segregation & Minimization in the OR

July 21, 2011 - 2:00 pm - July 21, 2011 - 3:30 pm -- Eastern Standard Time


Many hospitals routinely dispose of non-infectious waste as regulated medical waste (RMW) due to improper sorting and segregation procedures. Container size and placement, as well as lack of training play a large role in problem. An RMW segregation/minimization involves the training and education of staff to improve segregation of non-infectious from infectious medical waste (per state definition). This program typically results in significant reduction in volume of medical waste, which reduces costs for the organization – as medical waste costs between 3-5 times as much as solid waste to treat and dispose of. Reduction in RMW volume also reduces the amount of energy, water, chemicals and the environmental footprint related to the treatment technology used for disinfection (e.g., autoclave, incinerator, rotoclave and microwave). ORs are often one of the largest generators of RMW inside a healthcare facility, due to the large number of disposable sterile products, improper segregation and lack of appropriate waste container access. Come and learn how hospitals are segregating waste generated before the patient enters the room (generally sterile, clean packaging), waste generated during the procedure and how waste is segregated and handled post-surgery, and understand the resulting waste and cost savings.


  • Measure regulated medical waste generation.
  • Outline strategies to properly segregate regulated medical waste.
  • Identify segregation and minimization strategies for regulated medical waste.
  • Explain the education process to OR staff.


Crystal SaricCrystal Saric, MPNA, Fairview Health Services
Crystal Saric is Sustainability Program Manager at Fairview Health Services in Minneapolis, MN. She manages aggressive system goals to reduce Fairview’s overall environmental footprint by reducing energy, waste, water, toxic chemicals, and increasing green purchasing, healthy and local food systems, and sustainable building concepts; these initiatives have also saved Fairview many thousands of dollars. Ms. Saric has a Master’s of Public and Nonprofit Administration, serves on the board of directors for Minnesota Waste Wise, and has spoken at several local and national conferences on healthcare and sustainability.  She lives with her 3-year-old daughter in Dayton, Minnesota.

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