Canton, Ohio: Mercy Medical Center’s “Green Team” is taking its first steps toward what will eventually be a robust, hospital-wide recycling program.
Currently Mercy recycles cardboard, fluorescent bulbs and laboratory chemicals. In collaboration with Mercy’s waste collector, Republic Services Inc., the team plans to add white copy paper recycling this summer. The hospital uses 142 tons of copy paper each year.
Team leaders Richard Regula, director of market outreach, and Elaine Campbell, fund development grant writer, agree that “going green” – which includes recycling, as well as energy conservation, buying green and building green initiatives on the horizon – supports Mercy’s mission, as well as the mission of the Catholic Health Association, which recently published its support of vigorous environmental initiatives in Faithfully Healing the Earth.
Regula says the team is starting small to ensure that appropriate disposal systems are in place when more recycling is added. “We want to be sure that every time something gets placed in a recycle bin at Mercy, it does in fact get recycled. That’s why Elaine and I are making site visits to Republic’s recycling centers in Akron and Lorain.”
The team is also conducting a waste audit to establish a baseline for measuring the effectiveness of waste-reduction efforts. Campbell says the numbers will be critical to the success of any “green” grants Mercy may apply for in the future.
Senior vice president and COO Jeff Smith says the hospital administration fully supports Mercy Green Team. “We recognize how critical it is conserve energy and resources in the midst of difficult economic times,” he says. “However, Mercy’s ongoing green initiative – which will, over time, extend to all facets of our organization – is here to stay, not only because it saves money, but because it’s the right thing to do.”
Mercy Medical Center, a nonprofit corporation of the Sisters of Charity Health System and University Hospitals Health System, operates a 476-bed hospital serving Stark, Carroll, Wayne, Holmes and Tuscarawas Counties and parts of Southeastern Ohio. It has 550 physicians on its Medical Staff and employs 2,500 people. Mercy operates outpatient health centers in Carrollton, Jackson Township, Lake Township, Louisville, North Canton, Plain Township and Tuscarawas County. A Catholic hospital, Mercy Medical Center upholds the mission and philosophy of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine and continues to be responsive to the needs of the community, including the provision of care to all, regardless of their ability to pay. For more information, see www.cantonmercy.com.