The University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC) has set rigid environmental goals for the organization – including zero waste in food service operations. This commitment has allowed UWMC to maintain its Environmental Leadership Circle status as a Practice Greenhealth award winner for six years in a row! The Environmental Leadership Award recognizes health care facilities that exemplify environmental excellence.
UWMC’s food composting program is a key example of its commitment to waste reduction. The medical center has seen solid participation in the program from hospital patients, guests and staff. Recently, UWMC saw a large solid waste savings impact, with more than 180 tons diverted from solid waste to composting in one year alone.
In addition, compostable beverage greenware has resulted in additional solid waste savings. Through partnerships with beverage vendors, the medical center supplies compostable cups, lids, straws and napkins. Styrofoam service ware has been replaced with 100% compostable items. The UWMC Green Team is on a mission to work actively with its suppliers to reduce the amount of waste tossed into our local landfills.