Aspirus Langlade adds water bottle filling stations, cuts down on plastic waste

Aspirus Langlade Hospital recently installed eight water bottle filling stations throughout its hospital and clinics. These stations help cut down on plastic waste and save money.

To protect against the spread of COVID-19, Aspirus Langlade put many measures in place at the start of the pandemic. One of these measures was to shut down use of its water fountains.

With the water fountains shut down, Aspirus Langlade Hospital Nutritional Services stepped up and began providing free bottled water to staff and visitors. Approximately 1,700 bottles of water were given out each week. That’s over 88,000 bottles annually.

To reduce its reliance on single-use water bottles while still providing free water to staff and visitors, Aspirus Langlade decided to install water bottle filling stations. At these stations, people can fill reusable containers with water. The stations offer an environmentally friendly alternative to drinking water from single-use plastic bottles. Thanks to these stations, Aspirus Langlade is substantially cutting down on the amount of plastic waste generated in its facilities while also providing significant long-term cost savings.

“The water bottle filling stations are hands free, which dramatically decreases the spread of germs,” said Penny Matuszewski, Director of Food & Nutrition Services at Aspirus Langlade. “There is almost no risk of contracting harmful germs from these mechanisms since the spout is recessed and the sensor-activated bottle fill solves the problem of contamination, keeping bacteria and virus out of the equation. That is crucial to us as a health care facility.”

Water bottle filling stations are a quick and easy means to get quality filtered water. It takes just seconds to fill a 20-ounce water bottle like the ones gifted to all Aspirus Langlade employees earlier this year in anticipation of the installation of the water bottle filling stations. Employees are also encouraged to drink more water each day to reap the numerous health benefits associated with drinking water.

“I am excited that our refillable water stations are now live and being used by our staff,” Matuszewski said. “We are so grateful to have eight of these filling stations as we continue our journey to advance sustainability practices at Aspirus Langlade. My sincere thank you goes to the entire team that collaborated to make this happen.”

The eight water bottle filling stations can be found in the Antigo Clinic, hospital, St. Joseph’s building and Elcho Clinic.

As a leader in the communities it serves, Aspirus is committed to being economically, socially and environmentally responsible. The Aspirus Sustainability Initiative was established in 2018 as a coordinated, strategic effort to identify and implement sustainability initiatives intended to improve the lives of patients and the health of communities. This initiative is in direct alignment with Aspirus Health’s mission to heal people, promote health and strengthen communities.

(Picture) Aspirus Langlade’s Water Bottle Filling Station team members (from left): Jason Noskowiak, Director of Maintenance & Facilities; Deakin Washatko, Director of Division Operational Services; Kurt Sippl, Maintenance Mechanic; and Penny Matuszewski, Director of Food & Nutrition Services.