Our employees are always looking for more and different ways to reduce, reuse and recycle. These are a few of their success stories:
Hospital-wide we thought about the energy that was wasted when lights are left on in rooms without any people in them. To eliminate this problem, Boulder Community Hospital took a refrigerator door approach to its recycling closets. When the door is opened, the light turns on; when the door is closed, the light automatically turns off.
Our Imaging Department is doing all it can to recycle x-ray related materials. The film is recyclable, as are the film boxes. The problem was, the canisters that contained the film weren’t readily recyclable. After a bit of research and persistent contacts, Kodak agreed to let us return canisters for refills.
Wheelchairs, crutches and the like are personal items and most patients prefer new rather than used ones. Many items are returned to us, providing a steady supply of fully functional but used equipment. We put these items to good use by giving them to less fortunate individuals in our community and by sending the surplus to Mante, Mexico, a Sister City of Boulder that is the site of an annual medical mission by BCH and community volunteers.
Our Maternity Department uses reusable cloth diapers instead of disposables. When a mother caresses her newborn, she’s cradling our community’s future in her arms. BCH babies get an early education in environmental sensitivity.
Our Human Resources Department expanded employee use of alternative transportation by making it as user-friendly as possible. We were one of the first businesses in Boulder to provide ECO passes free to employees. We offer periodic incentives for switching to alternative modes. And employees who bus or bike to work can borrow hospital-owned cars for necessary workday travel.
Our Purchasing Department has taken extra measures to make the environment one of its top priorities when making purchasing decisions. They chose materials that contain recycled materials, are recyclable or reusable, and cause the least environmental harm. Purchasing personnel were instrumental in decisions to switch to mercury-free thermometers, blood pressure gauges and cloth diapers.
Our Food Service Department helped the hospital expand its comprehensive waste reduction program by incorporating a compost program in 2005. Compostable paper and food waste is collected throughout each campus kitchen and picked up by EcoCycle.