California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

Health Care Industry Waste Reduction and Recycling

Case Studies

Industry estimates nearly 20 percent of the waste stream is from surgical services (materials going to red bag or trash disposal). Much of this waste is clean blue wrap. Hospitals are saving overhead costs by switching to metal surgical cases, as well as reducing disposal fees through increased recycling programs. Below are a few samples of blue wrap case studies.

Blue Wrap Case Studies

Dignity Health

  • Saint Joseph’s Medical Center (City of Stockton, San Joaquin County). In 2006, Saint Joseph’s Medical Center started a blue wrap recycling program. Between July 1, 2006-June 30, 2007, they recycled 5,595 pounds of blue wrap. Beginning in 2007, approximately 466 pounds of blue wrap was being recycled on a monthly basis. For information on St. Joseph’s Blue Wrap Recycling Program, see the Blue Wrap article in the Fall/Winter 2007 Edition of CalRecycle’s past newsletter infoCycling.

John Kendle
Saint Joseph's Medical Center
Director of Operations
Support Services
Phone: (209) 467-6471
Email: John.Kendle@CHW.edu

  • Saint Mary’s Medical Center (City of San Francisco, San Francisco County). Saint Mary’s Medical Center conducted a blue wrap recovery pilot study from March to June, 2003. The “Saint Mary’s Model” pilot study was a cooperative program between major manufacturers of sterilization blue wrap, the primary consumer (medical centers/hospitals), and the secondary manufacturer (who turn material into reusable products) in order to accomplish a post-consumer recovery and reutilization program at the medical center. For information on St. Mary’s Blue Wrap Recovery program, see the Blue Wrap article in the Fall/Winter 2007 Edition of CalRecycle’s past newsletter infoCycling.

Dan Christy
Saint Mary's Medical Center
Phone: (415) 750-4889
Email: dchristy@chw.edu

Dignity Health are committed to working toward and maintaining a healthy environment. You can learn more about their commitment by reading their Social Responsibility Report or Environmental Brochure.

Sutter Mills-Peninsula (City of Burlingame, San Mateo County).

Mills-Peninsula Health Services (MPHS) made a switch in Central Sterile Processing to using hard cases instead of blue wrap for containing instruments and supplies for sterilization prior to use in surgery. According to the Sutter Health Contracts Office, Peninsula Medical Center used an estimated 14,475 pounds of blue wrap during 2006 at a cost of $35,962. MPHS spent $34,987 to purchase hard cases that have allowed it to reduce blue wrap by an estimated 70 percent. For information on switching from blue wrap to hard cases, as well as new opportunities found with recycling blue wrap, see the Blue Wrap article in the Fall/Winter 2007 Edition of the CalRecycle’s past newsletter infoCycling.

Sutter Mills-Peninsula
Phone: (650) 696-5706

Note: These case studies or any content they contain are not intended to be an endorsement of a particular company or process by the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery. For more information, please contact the facilities directly.

Health Care Industry Waste Home

Last updated: July 20, 2016
Health Care Waste Reduction and Recycling http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/HealthCare/
Contact: HealthCareWRR@calrecycle.ca.gov (916) 341-6199