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Vail hospital’s recycling goes beyond paper, plastic

Vail Daily staff report
newsroom@vaildaily.com
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado ” The Vail Valley Medical Center in Vail, Colorado has created a comprehensive recycling program with efforts reaching places such as India, Ecuador and Uganda.

The Vail hospital jump-started the recycling program three years ago by enlisting staff from various departments to recycle, creating the Recyclers Task Force, comprised of about 45 staff members.

In addition to the paper, cardboard and other materials that the hospital recycles, equipment and medical supplies are also donated to doctors in need. The hospital has donated medical supplies to third-world countries and local veterinarians for the past 10 years.



The Materials Management Department at the hospital has also assisted physicians and nurses giving medical assistance in India, Ecuador and other countries in Africa by donating gloves, IVs, sterile packs, catheters, needles, syringes and bandages. Project Cure has also benefited from medical supplies and equipment donated by the hospital.

Vail Valley Medical Center donated diagnostic X-ray equipment and a Kodak film processor to a clinic that will be opening in Uganda. The equipment was taken out of the former Medical Center of Eagle site. In May, another diagnostic X-ray unit is earmarked to be donated to the Uganda clinic. Two service engineers from Hospital Shared Services have donated their time to remove the equipment and deliver it to storage in Denver, where it will be packed and transported to Uganda. Vail Valley Medical Center’s Imaging Department has also donated 15 film cassettes to the Red Rocks Community College for their Radiologic Technologist Program.



The hospital’s Facilities Department uses low energy light bulbs when possible and the public restroom light switches were converted to a motion sensor to conserve energy. All of the lights, ballasts, and batteries that are used throughout the hospital are shipped to a recycle facility that removes the hazardous components. The hospital’s Environmental Services Department uses biodegradable chemicals and recycles the containers they come in. The Materials Management Department is working with vendors on green alternatives for medical supplies.

The hospital’s recycler’s Task Force has several projects in the hopper for 2009. Just in time for Earth Day, the Recycler’s Task Force is organizing an internal Office Supply Swap scheduled for today.


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