Roughly half of all U.S. hospitals are recycling at least some of their medical supplies. The Hospital Corporation of America (163 American hospitals) recycled 94 tons in 2008. Reprocessing and remanufacturing programs from Ascent Healthcare Solutions has saved its hospital partners more than $82 million in supply chain costs during the first half of 2009.
While many hospitals are reluctant to stray away from disposable medical equipment, an environmental non-profit organization called Practice Greenhealth is turning the tides. With 80 companies and 1,100 hospitals among its members, the group is trying to find new ways to reduce waste in the operating room, which according to the report generates 20 to 30 percent of hospital medical waste.
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