50-Percent Improvement in Recycling Efforts
AUSTIN, Texas - (April 19, 2012) - Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas, the world's first LEED® Platinum hospital*, continues to introduce comprehensive recycling and energy conservation programs to reduce its environmental impact.
How much waste do hospitals produce? In the U.S., hospitals are associated with more than 5.9 million tons of waste annually. Yet, while hospitals' waste contribution grows, Dell Children's waste impact has significantly decreased.
From 2010 to 2011, Dell Children's reduced landfill waste by six percent (718 to 676 tons) and improved recycled material contribution by 50 percent (245 tons of recycled material up 149 tons.)
Recently, Dell Children's converted to single-stream recycling and began composting kitchen waste to further reduce the volume of landfill waste. At the end of February, more than 38 tons of kitchen waste had been composted.
Several waste reduction initiatives are being planned for this year. With improved signage and education programs, recycling will be easier and more efficient. Waste from operating rooms will be analyzed for recycling potential. Catering and meal service items will be assessed for environmental impact and may be replaced with more environmentally-friendly materials that are reusable, compostable or have high recycled content.
For the third bed tower, to be completed in May 2013, Dell Children's is working to become the first Platinum-certified project under the newly established LEED for Healthcare Rating System by the U. S. Green Building Council.
The new bed tower will be 22 percent more energy efficient than required by code. A solar hot water system will supplement the hospital's heating water system and solar photovoltaic panels will generate 20kW of electricity. All areas in the new addition will have LED lighting and automatic lighting controls. The hospital has also added three electric vehicle charging stations located east of the future bed tower.
"Dell Children's sustainability commitment goes well beyond our groundbreaking 'green' facility," said Alan Bell, AIA LEED® AP, director design & construction Seton Network Facilities. "Efforts made to reduce landfill waste and encourage recycling reinforce the importance of good stewardship of our resources. What's good for the environment and community is also good for our patients."
A list of materials recycled at Dell Children's:
- Mixed paper
- Plastic bottles and containers
- Glass bottles and jars
- Aluminum cans
- Construction waste
- Wood and metal scraps
- Wood pallets
- Toner cartridges
- Electronic cables
- Fluorescent bulbs
- Kitchen grease
- Air filters
*In 2009, Dell Children's was certified as the world's first LEED® Platinum hospital by the U. S. Green Building Council. LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the internationally-recognized benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.