The state of Maryland requires hospitals to handle and dispose of items
contaminated with potentially infectious materials differently from everyday garbage. The disposal process is costly and can pollute the environment.
Since 2011, The Johns Hopkins Hospital has reduced its annual production of regulated medical waste by 57 percent. Kristian Hayes, assistant director of general services, attributes the reduction to a hospitalwide awareness campaign aimed at educating staff on the difference between regulated medical waste and plain trash, and on how to properly dispose of them.
The initiative has cut disposal costs by 77 percent per year. The reduction also earned a 2014 award for environmental excellence from Practice Greenhealth, a nonprofit organization dedicated to sustainable health care.
The Johns Hopkins Hospital's regulated medical waste is shrinking
Reduction in Pounds
Trimming the Cost