The Medical School is committed to reducing its overall trash stream and to increasing the amount of recycled waste from the current 27 percent of all waste to 50 percent. To help the campus reach that target, several initiatives have been recently implemented and others are being developed.
The UMMS community has participated in conventional paper recycling for many years. In January of 2008, co-mingled recycling was introduced to expand collection to additional waste products. In co-mingled recycling, plastic, glass, and metal items are deposited into the same receptacle and are separated at the waste processing plant. To encourage recycling, collection bins for both paper/cardboard and co-mingled waste were placed in each elevator lobby throughout the Medical School. At the end of the program’s first year, over 5 tons of co-mingled trash had been collected for reuse.
In the Lazare Research Building Café all consumer food containers and products, from trays to sandwich boxes, are now recyclable. All styrofoam products have been eliminated. In addition, the kitchen staff rinses cans, bottles and plastic containers and puts them into the recycling stream. Plans are underway to expand this comprehensive program to the hospital cafeteria as well.
Work station recycling is an important initiative to decrease the amount of paper trash accumulated on campus. Each desk in the Medical School is currently outfitted with a cardboard bin for collecting paper and cardboard. In addition, secure HIPPA-compliant containers are conveniently located on each floor of the hospital for recycling paper with confidential patient information. Under consideration are plans to remove trash receptacles from all work stations and replace them with a bin for co-mingled collection, along with the one the paper/cardboard. Non-recycled trash would be disposed of in a central location in each wing.
Over three dozen different items are currently collected for recycling at UMMS. For a complete list, visit inside.umassmed.edu/recycling.