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Central Ohio hospitals are nationally recognized for the care they provide patients and their families, but what may surprise you is the critical work they’re doing behind the scenes to ensure hospitals are contributing to a greener community. We’re proud to be helping with the efforts to make hospital operations more sustainable. Through collaboration with central Ohio’s hospital systems and the Ohio Hospital Association, SWACO is supporting their environmental sustainability goals, plans and work toward meeting central Ohio’s goal of diverting 75% of waste from the Franklin County Sanitary Landfill by 2032.
We’re also supporting these goals financially through our grant program. Today, we’re spotlighting the achievements of one of those partners -- OhioHealth.
In 2021, OhioHealth received more than $28,000 through SWACO’s Community Waste Reduction (CWR) Grant program to install public-facing recycling containers at OhioHealth Dublin Methodist Hospital, Grant Medical Center and Doctors Hospital after first piloting the program at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital. The recycling program is available to patients and their families in public spaces, and accepts all materials currently accepted by Rumpke throughout the region.
And it’s working.
In 2021, thanks to the infrastructure put in place, Dublin Methodist Hospital, Grant Medical Center and Doctors Hospital alone diverted a significant amount of recyclables from the landfill. This includes:- 106 tons of single-stream recyclables- 80 tons of cardboard- 373 tons of paper (confidential/HIPAA paper via ShredIt)Across the OhioHealth hospitals in 2021, total recycling (single stream, cardboard, and paper) was over 2,372 tons.“We understand the connection between the environment and human health. Our partnership with SWACO has allowed us to support our community’s landfill diversion efforts as we all work together to create a healthier environment,” said Allegra Wiesler, Sustainability Advisor.
With the successful rollout of the recycling containers in public-facing, non-clinical areas of the hospitals, OhioHealth has expanded recycling access to associate-specific areas (e.g., staff lounges) and is working to expand recycling to operating rooms. In addition, based on the amount of recycling coming in, the hospitals participating in the program have been able to put in place larger recycling dumpsters at the docks, with more slated to be installed in the future.
OhioHealth is also part of a consortium of the four major hospital systems in the region to share best practices for reducing waste and creating more sustainable facilities. As they continue to understand best practices and productive ways to reduce waste at their facilities, they are sharing those learnings with other hospital operations administrators looking to make important and sustainable changes within their organizations.
We are still accepting applications for our 2023 CWR program. We're looking for great ideas that address unique diversion needs in central Ohio that also emphasize partnership building and collaboration.
We encourage schools, universities, local governments, parks or non-profits with a great sustainability idea to consider applying for a CWR grant prior to the August 5, 2022 deadline.To review eligibility requirements and download an application, visit www.swaco.org/communitygrants. Together, we can continue to make a difference in central Ohio.