Best Practice: Clinical Plastics Recycling

Arthur, a Buckeye employee since January 2013, has benefitted from New Avenues to Independence’s services since 1976.
Our clinical plastics recycling program is a triple bottom line success.  We have put people to work, minimized our waste footprint and cut costs.

Operating Rooms (OR) generate intense volumes of clean, sterile plastics at discrete intervals, making them an ideal candidate for safe plastics recycling. Cleveland Clinic pioneered a clinical plastics recycling program in 12 of our cardiovascular surgery rooms. Clean, sterile and unused plastics are collected before the patient enters the room, tied off in a ‘purple bag’ and recycled. 

Cleveland Clinic partners with Buckeye Industries, a vocational services program for individuals with disabilities from New Avenues to Independence, Inc., and Rumpke Waste and Recycling Services, our waste and recycling vendor, to recycle our clinical plastics.

Since our pilot in 2011, the program has expanded to all 86 of our Cleveland Clinic main campus operating rooms. In 2013, we began rolling out the program to our community hospitals and will continue the program’s growth through our ambulatory and surgery centers in 2014.