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Montefiore is First Integrated Healthcare Delivery Network in U.S. to Launch System Wide Sharps Recycling Program

NEW YORK CITY, NY (April 17, 2012) -- Montefiore Medical Center is the first integrated healthcare delivery network in the U.S. to introduce a system wide recycling program that diverts sharps from the waste stream and recycles the materials for use in new products.

More than 348,500 pounds of needles and syringes have been collected and processed for recycling since the pilot initiative began last August.

Montefiore has been long recognized for its energy-efficient and environmentally friendly practices, most notably being the first New York City hospital to install a cogeneration system. Built in 1995, the system can generate all of the power for Montefiore’s main campus. Montefiore also enrolled in Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s PlaNYC initiative in 2009 to reduce its carbon footprint 30 percent by 2018.  Currently, Montefiore has achieved 50 percent of its goal by concentrating on several energy efficiency and waste reduction programs, including a system wide installation of energy-efficient lighting funded by a $1 million grant from the NY State Energy Research and Development Authority and the federal government. 

Other initiatives currently underway at Montefiore include a porous pavement project in the hospital’s receiving yard, a green roof to reduce the facility’s energy impact, transportation fleet upgrades to more energy-efficient vehicles, a bike-to-work program to encourage alternatives to driving and help reduce carbon emissions, installation of energy-efficient technologies and employee training on energy conservation including a campus-wide 2012 Earth Day celebration.

“At Montefiore we have historically taken a leadership role in promoting energy-efficient and sustainable practices that will help create a greener Bronx,” said Steven M. Safyer, MD, President and CEO, Montefiore. “We are pleased to pioneer this environmentally sustainable method of sharps disposal without compromise to our high standards of clinical care. It is one way we are working to ensure a sustainable future for our community.”

The sharps recycling program, known as BD ecoFinity® Life Cycle Solution, was launched at Montefiore in collaboration with Waste Management, Inc., a leading waste and environmental services company, and BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), a global medical technology company that develops, manufactures and sells medical devices, instrument systems and reagents.  Before the program was introduced at Montefiore, single-use sharps were collected in designated containers and incinerated off-site. Now, sharps are collected, treated and processed by Waste Management to recover reusable plastic, glass and metal. BD then uses the recycled plastic to make the BD RecykleenTM Sharps Collectors that are placed throughout Montefiore’s three inpatient campuses and nearly 100 ambulatory sites in the Bronx and lower Westchester County. 

For more information about Montefiore’s energy and sustainability programs, please contact Tom Kelly, Energy & Sustainability Manager at thkelly@montefiore.org.