Iowa Specialty Hospital recycles--for Earth Day and every day

Saturday, April 22, is Earth Day. While many won’t do something specific to observe this holiday, some people and organizations try to embrace good earth stewardship the year round. One such local organization is the Iowa Specialty Hospital, which has willingly undertaken several recycling initiatives in addition to those required for hospitals.

For sanitation reasons, the medical industry naturally uses a lot of disposable items—gloves, wipes, some needles, and more—but wherever possible, Tom Butler, facilities management leader for both the Clarion and Belmond locations, has his staff recycle materials, chooses cleaning products with fewer chemicals, and tries to purchase containers and other products that contain recycled materials. “We recognize that we do generate a lot of trash, so we’re trying to be as recyclable as we can with what we can,” he said.

When he started working at Iowa Specialty 10 years ago, the hospital had a cardboard recycling program in place. Since then, some waste management programs have become required by law: shredding of confidential paperwork, separating hazardous materials like used batteries and broken fluorescent bulbs, and six years ago, collecting prescription bottles for shredding. In addition, Iowa Specialty has several other recycling initiatives: shredding all paper and collecting plastics for recycling, collecting cooking grease for oil burning stoves and broken glass from the kitchen area, recycling pop cans (also recycled by nutrition services), and collecting all metals from building materials or instruments for scrap recycling.


For the full story, see the April 20 edition of the Monitor.