Outcomes & Initiatives
Technology/equipment: tunnel washers
Practices: Loading wash equipment to manufacturer’s specifications, reclaiming water utilized to cool equipment
The detergent and fabric softener used by ATH are formulations that are biodegradable and DfE compatible. DfE is the EPA’s “Design for the Environment” program that works with industry to improve the environmental friendliness of industry practices. In addition, the detergent was recently reformulated to contain no NPE’s, which will be regulated in the future. ATH also uses a non-chlorine bleach that is safer for the environment and can clean at lower temperatures, providing energy savings.
ATH again utilizes the most efficient technology and equipment to assist in a reduction of electricity use. This is accomplished by replacing old and outdated equipment with much more efficiently powered machines, upgrading existing lighting to LED lighting which reduces usage, and the efficient utilization of its equipment.
Wastewater Heat Recovery
ATH utilizes a wastewater heat recovery system that recovers the heat from the wastewater and transfers it to the fresh incoming water. The system raises the incoming water by 60 degrees at a cost of only running one electrical pump.
The most effective environmental initiative in regard to laundry/linen is utilization conservation. In this area ATH and its member hospitals have been very successful. These efforts have netted the member hospitals over 3+ million pounds in reduced linen usage since 2010.
Reusable Pack Room
ATH competes with disposable products used throughout our hospitals, including surgical packs used by operating rooms. ATH offers a full line of reusable surgical gowns, drapes, and component packs that compete with disposable products, this often produces a savings for the hospital and taking disposable products out of the trash and bio waste stream.
ATH donates rejected linen, linen that is worn, stained, or torn and unusable by our hospitals, to various Rochester charities, including various homeless shelters, animal shelters and overseas charitable organizations, keeping the rejected linen out of landfills.
ATH bales the plastic bags that are used to transport the soiled linen from the hospitals to the laundries. The bales are picked up for recycling. Cardboard is also recycled in a special dumpster provided by the cooperative’s trash company. The barrels that the wash chemicals are received in are returned to a facility for reuse. The employees of the cooperative also participate in a can and bottle recycling effort in their break room.