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Northwell Health Teams Up with Envetec to Revolutionise Medical Waste Treatment

Written by : Varsha Sharma

January 4, 2024

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Northwell Health pioneers eco-friendly medical waste management with Envetec's GENERATIONS technology, treating biohazardous waste on-site. This strategic move aligns with Northwell's commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030.

Northwell Health, New York State's leading healthcare provider, has partnered with Envetec Sustainable Technologies to pioneer a groundbreaking clean technology for the on-site treatment of regulated medical waste. The collaboration positions Northwell Health as the first US healthcare system to adopt this innovative solution.

The cutting-edge technology, known as GENERATIONS, is designed for the safe and effective on-site treatment of regulated medical waste, addressing concerns related to biohazardous or infectious waste. This includes single-use laboratory plastics, glass, personal protective equipment (PPE), and sharps containers.

Commenting on the urgency of addressing climate change as a public health crisis, Michael Dowling, president and CEO of Northwell, said, “Adopting state-of-the-art clean technologies such as GENERATIONS represents an important step forward in our climate goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030."

The Center for Advanced Medicine, housing Northwell's core laboratory, will implement GENERATIONS. As the largest commercial laboratory in New York, it processes over 20,000 patient samples daily, making this initiative a pivotal move in the healthcare industry's sustainability efforts.

Plans are underway to sustainably treat over 500,000 pounds of regulated medical waste annually on-site, a departure from conventional methods involving transportation, autoclaving, and landfill. Independent data suggests that GENERATIONS could decrease waste-related Scope 3 emissions by as much as 90%.

Laboratories globally face increasing pressure to reduce regulated medical waste production, a substantial portion of which comprises plastics taking up to 1,000 years to decompose in landfills. The US health sector, responsible for an estimated 8.5% of carbon emissions, underscores the significance of innovative waste management solutions.

Donna Drummond, senior vice president & chief sustainability officer at Northwell, highlighted the responsibility to implement sustainable practices, including a public pledge to increase waste recycling rates to 25% of total waste volume by 2027.

Prior to installation, the GENERATIONS technology received approval from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the New York State Department of Health.

Sharing thoughts on the collaboration, Malcolm Bell, chair and CEO of Envetec, said, "GENERATIONS treats biohazardous waste onsite and plays a crucial role in reducing Scope 3 emissions."

Northwell Health, with 21 hospitals and over 900 outpatient facilities, continues to lead in healthcare innovation. The implementation of GENERATIONS marks a significant step towards achieving a more sustainable and environmentally conscious future for medical waste management.


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