US institutions honoured as waste reduction ‘role models’

A prison and hospital have received government awards out in the US for their waste reduction efforts by implementing highly successful recycling programmes in the workplace.

The University of Kansas Hospital and the Hutchinson Correctional Facility, both based in Kansas City, picked up WasteWise gold achievement awards from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The prison received recognition for diverting 1.4 million pounds of solid waste from landfill. In addition, the institution runs the only mattress recycling facility in the state, and last year processed 17,000 mattresses.

This scheme resulted in savings of 46,000 pounds of foam, 287,000 pounds of steel, 22,000 pounds of wood and 46,000 pounds of cotton.

Meanwhile the hospital has diverted more than 540,000 pounds of solid waste from landfill since 2010. Led by its own green team, recycling efforts have saved the organisation more than $177,000.

The award comes through the EPA’s own program WasteWise that helps businesses reduce their environmental impact and find cost savings through innovative waste reduction and recycling activities.

The program provides an online reporting system, which allows members to track waste generation and reduction activities, generate customized reports, and calculate their greenhouse gas emission reductions and environmental impacts.

Maxine Perella

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