Reducing Toxic and Hazardous Waste in the Health Care Community


Objectives

Funded by Environment and Climate Change Canada - EcoAction Community Funding Program, this two-year clean water initiative will reduce toxic and hazardous waste generated by health care facility operations through the identification, implementation, and evaluation of innovative, toxics-free technologies and chemical use strategies.

Working collaboratively with BC Lower Mainland GreenCare, Ontario's Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, Synergie Santé Environnement, the Coalition for Healthcare Acquired Infection Reduction, Class 1 Inc., Aqueous Solutions, and Tersano Inc., approximately 250 kilograms of toxics and other hazardous waste will be reduced per year by replacing chemical agents with safer alternatives and implementing systems that reduce or eliminate the need for chemical use.

The results of these pilot efforts will be used to develop comprehensive best practices to strategically reduce chemicals in health care facilities. Webinars, case studies, reports and other outreach materials will be developed based on the key successes and lessons learned and distributed nation-wide to the broader health care community.

Project Activities

  1. 1. Engage technical partners to provide innovative technological systems and information on toxics-reduced chemicals for health care.
  2. 2. Develop background research on best practice strategies for toxics reduction in health care operations.
  3. 3. Engage partner facilities willing to implement (pilot) new systems and strategies; formalize their organisational commitments to pilot projects.
  4. 4. Develop implementation plans with partner facilities for introduction of new systems and strategies.
  5. 5. Establish baselines of chemical purchasing, chemical use, and hazardous waste generation at pilot facilities; develop a standardized evaluation procedure to compare year 2 results to initial baselines.
  6. 6. Oversee implementation of new systems and strategies (chemical reduction measures) at pilot health care facilities.
  7. 7. Conduct ongoing mid-project evaluation of toxics reduction achieved by pilot projects (reduction measures); assess findings to determine whether implementation plans can be modified to optimize results.
  8. 8. Develop best practices and case studies of pilot projects as well as communications strategy for introducing findings to national health care community.
  9. 9. Complete pilot projects with final evaluation and validation of toxics reductions achieved according to established baselines.
  10. 10. Perform communications/awareness activities to distribute pilot findings and recommendations to national health care community; assess level of interest in pursuing additional or expanded reductions projects at partner or other facilities.

Performance Indicators/Results

  • • Reduction or diversion of kilograms of toxic or harmful waste
  • • Participants in Activities
  • • Volunteers participating directly in project
  • • Jobs Created

 

 

Reducing Toxics

The List of Toxic Substances in Schedule 1 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999) includes substances that are considered to be toxic as defined in Section 64 of the Act. Each of the substances, or groups of substances, below has been used (and may continue to be used) in health care settings.

Mercury
Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals
Chlorinated Wastewater

Safer Chemicals Resources

 

UV Sterilization
Copper Surfaces
Ozone Cleaners

Coalition Project Staff

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Kent Waddington, Communications Director – Project Lead
Samantha Putos, Sustainable Health Care Programs - Project Secondary
Linda Varangu, Executive Director – Project Advisor

 

Collaborators

BC Lower Mainland GreenCare
Chatham-Kent Health Alliance
Synergie Santé Environnement
Coalition for Healthcare Acquired Infection Reduction
Class 1 Inc.  
Aqueous Solutions
Tersano Inc. 

 

For further information, contact:

Kent Waddington
Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care
1-613-720-4889 or kent@greenhealthcare.ca

 

Funding

This project was undertaken with the financial support of:
Ce projet a été réalisé avec l'appui financier de:

enviro-canada