Medical Waste: St. Anthony Pledges to Recycle More, Reduce Electricity Usage

By Terry-Cobo, Sarah | THE JOURNAL RECORD, June 14, 2016 | Go to article overview

Medical Waste: St. Anthony Pledges to Recycle More, Reduce Electricity Usage


Terry-Cobo, Sarah, THE JOURNAL RECORD


OKLAHOMA CITY - St. Anthony hospital executives are buying new equipment, and the staff is changing the way it throws out garbage to save money.

The energy efficiency and recycling efforts are part of a larger program that requires frequent training and more than $1 million spent in recent years on more efficient machines. Chief Operating Officer Kyle Nondorf said the initiative will pay off in the long run.

St. Anthony hospital has had a conservation committee for years to encourage paper recycling. And parent company SSM Health began participating in May in a nationwide program to consume less energy and create less waste.

Practice Greenhealth, a national hospital trade association with the goal of improving the industry's environmental sustainability, created the Healthier Hospitals Initiative in 2012. The program aims to get executives active in promoting waste- and energy-reduction goals, as well as make hospital food healthier, buy safer cleaning products and improve supply chain practices.

St. Anthony's hospitals are among five health care organizations in Oklahoma that have signed on to Healthier Hospitals Initiative goals of reducing waste and lowering electricity use. Reynolds Army Community Hospital made the same pledges. The University of Oklahoma Medical Center was a founding sponsor of the initiative and pledges to cut down on waste.

Nondorf said he bought two new air chiller machines for about $950,000 for the main hospital. That equipment is 50 percent more efficient and will help cut down on electricity use. These measures will add up to savings on utility bills, but Nondorf did not have a date when he expects to achieve the return on his investment. He also bought a new air handler machine for about $375,000 to replace a 40-year-old version of the same equipment. Geothermal energy is used in both the Healthplex North and Healthplex Mustang, which also reduces purchased electricity. …

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