beth israel deaconess medical center a harvard medical school teaching hospital

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Reduce and Reuse Waste

Our goal is to reduce our waste to 2009 levels by the end of  2015.


US hospitals collectively produce between 4-6 million tons of waste per year. Here at BIDMC we are trying to reduce our contribution to this enormous number without compromising patient safety. This means things at the medical center may look a little different than you might expect:

  • The sharps containers that your used needs go in are reusable. This saves 88 tons of waste per year.
  • If you give birth at our hospital, you will be given a reusable mug instead of disposable pitchers and liners. This saves 2 tons of waste per year.
  • If you get served a hot drink on an inpatient unit, it will come in a reusable mug that gets cleaned by food services.
  • You will see lots of people walking around carrying their own mugs instead of disposable cups.  If you are planning to visit the medical center long enough to visit  our cafeteria, bring your own mug with you. If you do, any coffee, tea or fountain beverage gets rung up as a small, regardless of cup size.
  • If you are a patient on our inpatient floors, your unsoiled linen will get changed every other day. If it gets soiled, it will be changed immediately. This reduces the amount of soap , water, and energy used to launder and transport linen.
  • If you are here for a meeting, you will be served water from a pitcher rather than bottled water
  • If your waiting room has a water cooler, it will be serving filtered water rather than bottled water.

Contact Information

Elise Vergnano
Sustainability Program Manager
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Phone: 617-667-1627