Green Buckeye RN

Nursing Spectrum: Nurses Lead Movement for Environment
January 11, 2011, 10:15 am
Filed under: News

Blue-wrap recycling helps reduce hospital waste
By Linda Childers
Monday January 10, 2011
When Christine Collins, RN, an OR nurse at Kaiser Permanente’s Roseville (Calif.) Medical Center, finishes assisting with a surgical procedure, she immediately disposes of the blue wrap that is used to cover, wrap and store sterilized equipment and to outfit nurses and surgeons during operations.

For Collins and her colleagues, blue-wrap recycling is another way of caring for their patients and the environment. Realizing that plastic takes years to decompose in landfills, Collins wondered if there was a more eco-friendly way to dispose of the heavy-duty polypropylene plastic rather than just placing it in trash bins.

Her concern is one shared by many nurses across the country. Hospital waste is a big issue, with the March 2010 issue of the journal Academic Medicine claiming that hospitals dispose of more than 4 billion lbs. of waste each year.

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