Like in any other industry, abrupt increase in the waste production by a health care facility is inevitable. Considering the operations every day, this poses a big workload that demands urgent action. In response to this demand, Maria Reyna-Xavier University Hospital, Inc. (MRXUH), conscious of the impact of climate change and environmental health problems, follows health alternatives, health care practices, and innovations that urge the people to strongly support and uphold a green, clean, and health environment.
The Practice of Zero Waste
The practice of proper waste segregation, strict monitoring of recyclable wastes, an organized materials recovery operations system, and safe infection control has been implemented and continuously adhered to by all hospital staff and personnel. It is a continuous practice that is integrated in the system and maximizes opportunities for innovation and creativity on waste management.
One of the hospital’s waste management problems is its residual waste from treated sharps. The problem was solved by placing cement inside the filled-up sharp containers. It effectively encapsulates the sharps while forming rigid and non-floating blocks with identical size and shape as the containers. The blocks which were 50% less (in terms of) than regular cement blocks were used in the construction of the pit walls.
Other measures were also done to prevent flood in the hospital grounds. Prevention was done with the use of concrete pavers where water enters into their joints and flows through an “open-graded” base which stores water and seeps it back into the soil subgrade. The stones in the joints provide 100 percent surface permeability, and the base filters storm water and reduces pollutants.
Throughout the implementation of the solutions, an active campaign for collaboration has been emphasized.
Hospital Solid and Liquid Waste Management
The hospital’s bold move in managing its solid and liquid waste is focused on ensuring an ecologically safe fluid waste stream suitable for disposal or reuse. Biodegradable composting and backyard gardening are solutions that the institution finds sustainable and profitable.
Solar and Air Linen Drying
MRXUH took advantage of a cost-free practice for an efficient laundry drying. It installed solar-assisted air conditioners-renewable energy systems that effectively reduces energy consumption and carbon dioxide emission.
With the concerned efforts of the institution to become a safe health care provider, it has received recognition from various interest groups, both government and non-government, including Healthcare Without Harm – Asia. In collaboration with Healthcare Without Harm, delegates from the ministry of the Kingdom of Bhutan visited the institution in 2012.
Moreover, MRXUH was given an opportunity to impart its stewardship advocacy particularly through webinar series – an on-line educational presentation where viewers can submit questions and comments. This was sponsored by Global Green and Healthy Hospitals Asia to showcase the best practices on sustainable health care waste management.