Goal update

Baseline: 25%

March, 2024: 20%

Goal: 90%

In the last 12 months, the med center has diverted 2 million pounds of waste from the landfill, equivalent to the weight of approximately 163 ambulances.

The med center is a complex organization that produces many waste streams including certain products required for patient care. These constraints make the 90 percent diversion rate an especially ambitious goal for the Medical Center. Below are several ongoing and new initiatives working to meet this goal.

Recent Efforts

Construction and demolition recycling.

Since 2021, the med center has recycled more than 83 million pounds of construction and demolition material from the JPL & MMI project.

Writing instrument recycling.

Over 18,000 pens, markers, and highlighters (totaling over 300 pounds) have been collected and mailed to TerraCycle for recycling to date.

Zero-waste event.

This year, the med center hosted its third annual barbecue, an ongoing zero-waste event. This event aims to engage the med center community in sustainability in a fun, engaging way.

Results from the 2023 event are below:

  • Compost = 93 lbs
  • Mixed Plastics and Metals Recycling = 41.7 lbs
  • Cardboard Recycling = 32.7 lbs
  • Hefty Renew Bag = 14.1 lbs
  • Diversion Rate = 74% (increase of 9% from last year’s event)
  • Net Zero Waste Standard (soft plastics not recycled or composted) = 91% diversion

Single-use battery recycling.

Single-use battery recycling began in 2013. Since then, over 24,400 pounds of batteries have been recycled. Currently, the med center recycles nearly 7,000 pounds a year. More information about battery recycling can be found on the LiveGreen website.

Think Before You Print Campaign.

In October 2019, the LiveGreen Ambassadors conducted the “Think Before You Print” campaign to reduce unnecessary printing at the med center. In 2018, the Medical Center printed over 13.2 million pages, which even when recycled, produces a substantial amount of waste.

*Hover over the pie graph for more information. Wedges in the pie graph may not necessarily equal current diversion rate due to rounding.

Upcoming Projects

Compost Pilot.

In 2023, a compost pilot program was rolled out at three locations: 4230 Building, Sorrell Center, and the College of Public Health. Each location began composting paper towels in the bathroom, and the 4230 Building also composted in the break room. Over 800 lbs of materials were diverted from the landfill through this pilot! The results of this pilot determined a second phase is needed with a focus on food waste. Phase two will be rolled out sometime in 2024.

Efficiency Improvements.

The med center is identifying opportunities to improve how materials are collected in an effort to improve the diversion rate and reduce staff time.

Our Goals