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EMMC Recycling in Every Operating Room 

Eastern Maine Medical Center is going green.

They’re now recycling all of the trash in their operating rooms.

“I’m used to recycling household trash for a long time, but it’s an entirely different level to do it in a hospital, in an operating room environment,” said Dr. Karl-Heinz Spittler, Chief of Anesthesia.

After a successful year of recycling in two of their operating rooms, Eastern Maine Medical Center is rolling out a green bin in every OR in the hospital.

“I’ve been thinking about it for a very long time and finally made it work and made it streamline and as simple as possible. It does feel good,” said Dr. Varun Dixit, an anesthesiologist and coordinator of the recycling project.

Dr. Varun Dixit headed the project, making sure he would have the cooperation of his nursing staff and administration first.

“The response was amazing. The nurses in the room were very much on board from day one and they would go out of their way to make this project successful. They were very, very supportive,” said Dixit.

“As long as the nurses are educated and the staff and the rooms, then everything goes very smoothly,” said Samantha Lycette, a cardiac nurse.

Nurses say it really doesn’t take any more work than before.

The green bin sits right next to the black one as an easy reminder.

“Just on the scale we operate – over 21,000 surgeries a year – there’s a lot of potential for us to make a real impact. And anything we can do to make it better I think is the right thing to do,” said Spittler.

EMMC staff say they expect to decrease waste by ten tons per year.