Recycling waste is good. Not creating waste is even better. Legacy Health uses many techniques to minimize waste, including:
- Composting food waste—The first Legacy facility began recycling food waste in 2007 and now four of our five hospitals are on board. Legacy composts more than 5 tons of food waste per month. We donate unused but still high-quality food to Blanchet House, which serves the homeless.
- Reducing consumption at the source—By avoiding unnecessary printing, encouraging double-sided copying, and changing to 30 percent recycled content paper, Legacy has spared 2,380 trees per year and prevented 210,000 pounds of greenhouse gases from being released into our air. Our plan for moving to 50 percent recycled content paper this year will bring about even more significant benefits.
- Reusing materials—Legacy works with its construction partners to implement construction practices that support diversion of materials suitable for reuse or to appropriate disposal facilities that recycle the materials. We also regularly donate surplus equipment to nonprofit organizations such as Portland Public Schools and the Oregon Community Warehouse, as well as allowing employees to purchase unneeded equipment at discounted prices.
- Donations—Legacy has a reputation for recycling, so when our linen vendor, Portland Hospital Service Corporation, had 42 pallets of obsolete scrubs, towels, blankets and other linens, we took them. A contact at Mercy Corps connected us with National Relief Charities (NRC). NRC provides food, shoes, clothing, medical supplies, blankets and personal healthcare items to Native Americans living in rural communities on economically depressed reservations in the Northern Plains and the Southwest. They have since received more than 40,000 pounds of goods for distribution to their clients.