At Runnymede Healthcare Centre, there is a long-standing commitment to improving environmental sustainability, as was laid out in the 2015 Strategic Plan, Vision 2020/Redefining Possible. In this plan, a pledge was made to implement strategies and technologies that would lessen the hospital’s environmental impact, cut operating costs, and improve the health of the community as a whole.
By using tools like the OHA Green Hospital Scorecard, which tracks a hospital’s environmental efficiencies, and the results from the annual waste audit that Runnymede completes, it was determined that there were some gaps in the waste management process that was occurring at the hospital.
Large amounts of organic waste were being sent to landfills because there was no viable green bin strategy in place to recycle these materials. After the issue was identified, Runnymede decided that it would be a top priority to implement new strategies that would help to efficiently manage its organic waste production and improve its environmental footprint.
The solution came for Runnymede in a new technology called a bio-digester, a fully enclosed machine that can be used as an alternative to traditional composting. The device takes hundreds of pounds of solid food waste, including both raw and cooked leftover foods, from patients’ plates each day and converts it into filtered waste water in a totally chemical-free process.