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Prescription for a Healthier Environment ~ Aspirus Riverview’s New Reusable Sharps Container Inserts Reduce Landfill Waste

WISCONSIN RAPIDS – At Aspirus Riverview Hospital & Clinics, reusable sharps container inserts are reducing landfill waste.

For years, Aspirus Riverview’s containers for disposing of sharps (medical needles, syringes, and finger-stick lancets) could only be used once before being disposed of by a medical waste disposal company.

In January, Aspirus Riverview began replacing its single-use, disposable containers for containers with reusable inserts. When full, the inserts are collected and replaced. The full inserts are placed on a cart, which is taken by the medical waste disposal company to be emptied, sterilized, and returned for reuse.

“It’s going very, very well,” said Marie Willfahrt, Aspirus Riverview’s manager of environmental services. “Everyone has been fully engaged since we started this program. Our plant operations team installs the containers, and our environmental services team swaps out the inserts.”

Aspirus Riverview’s five-phase container conversion is now in its third phase. Phase one included the surgical services departments; phase two covered the emergency and imaging departments, cancer center and laboratory; phase three is comprised of the inpatient units; phase four will include the wound center, respiratory department, office areas, and clinics on the Aspirus Riverview Hospital campus; and phase five will cover Aspirus Riverview clinics and buildings not on the hospital campus.

To learn more about the many sustainability initiatives underway at Aspirus facilities throughout Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, visit aspirus.org/sustainability.

Photo: Marie Willfahrt, Aspirus Riverview’s manager of environmental services, holds one of the facility’s new sharps disposal containers. Behind her are various sizes of reusable container inserts.