Get your "Green on Greene Street" reusable tote bag at the Center for Image Renewal.
Recognizing that sustaining a healthy environment is essential to maintaining both personal and public health, the University of Maryland Medical Center has committed itself to promoting healthy patients and communities locally and globally by safeguarding the environment.
Please click on the programs listed below to find out how the medical center is doing its part to ensure a cleaner, greener future for its patients, employees, and community.
View the Green Team's 2010 Fact Sheet and "By the Numbers" feature to see the impact of these programs on the local environment.
Waste Segregation and Recycling Program
Beginning July 2009, a new waste separation and recycling program was implemented to minimize waste. At that time 61% of the waste stream was treated as regulated medical waste. After intensive training and ongoing education, UMMC's regulated medical waste is down to 24% of the waste stream, and recycling constitutes 12% of the waste stream.
UMMC is now striving for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification with two construction and renovation projects:
Additionally, hospital renovations designed to LEED Silver specifications.
Greening the OR
Because the OR purchases large quantities of supplies, generates a significant amount waste and uses energy intensive equipment, UMMC has begun looking at ways to decrease the OR’s environmental footprint through:
- Expanding recycling program
- Blue Wrap and OR Recycling: This program ensures that plastics generated in the OR are collected and recycled.
- Decreasing our waste by donating open and unused supplies to third-world countries and/or to the medical and nursing schools for training purposes.
- Evaluating the implementation of fluid management systems.
- Re-formulating kits to decrease waste.
- Using reusable textiles.
UMMC is a proud endorser of Practice Greenhealth's Greening the OR initiative.
UMMC has recently upgraded its energy management system and is conserving and reusing energy in a variety of ways. For example, in most HVAC systems, heat is wasted and released to the air. At UMMC, this waste heat is being captured and used thanks to the new, energy-efficient heat recovery system now in place. The medical center has reduced its need for steam used to heat water by using this heat recovery technology. Additionally, air handlers are being replaced with more efficient models and lighting retrofits are underway.
Awareness and Education
UMMC Green Team is raising awareness and educating staff and visitors on our commitment to sustainability through the celebration of America Recycles Day and Earth Day. Educational activities included during t hese events include:
- Office Supply Swap
- Scrub Swap
- Know Where to Throw Bean Bag Toss Game
- Water Taste Test Challenge -- Tap versus Bottled
- Community Supported Agriculture Sign-Up
- Farmers' Market
- The Effects of Plastic on the Environment
- Pharmaceutical Waste
- Alternative Transportation Opportunities
- Cell Phone Recycling
Alkaline Battery Recycling
This hospital-wide initiative to recycle used alkaline batteries was started by UMMC Green Team founder Denise Choiniere. Batteries are picked up by authorized personnel and sent to a local recycling plant.
Car Pool Program
UMMC partners with the University of Maryland at Baltimore to offer alternative transportation options. Additionally, UMMC offers a computer-based program to match UMMC employees within the same zip codes for car pooling purposes.
This committee is dedicated to finding ways to provide healthy foods to UMMC patients and employees in the most effective manner.
Other initiatives implemented in the UMMC cafeteria as a result of this committee include: the use of Fair Trade coffee, the purchase of hormone-free milk, and the use of biodegradable cups and plates for certain food items.
Integrated Pest Management
The UMMC Green Team works with the Maryland Pesticide Network to ensure that local pest control vendors continue to implement ways of reducing pest problems through the most environmentally-friendly methods available.
Confidential Paper Recycling
Over 350 confidential paper collection consoles have been deployed throughout UMMC for the collection (and later shredding and recycling) of confidential paper.
Sharps Container Recycling
Over 1700 reusable sharps containers have replaced the disposable containers. Now, rather than the entire container being incinerated, the contents are mechanically emptied, the contents are incinerated and the container is cleaned, disinfected and re-used. This program is diverting approximately 63,000 pounds of plastic from UMMC's waste stream annually.
For More Information
To learn more about why UMMC is going "green," please take a look at our newly published sustainability principles.
This page was last updated: December 17, 2013