Spectrum Health Supports Clean Environment

Staff members of United and Kelsey hospitals did their part on September 26 to keep the environment clean by participating in a major recycling effort. Offered through Comprenew Environmental, a semi-trailer was stationed at the Greenville-based hospital, and staff proceeded to fill it with 3,289 pounds of personal electronic items. Items will be disassembled within the Comprenew facility and all components will be re-used in electronic devices and sold in its used equipment store.

Electronics contain toxins such as lead, mercury and cadmium, all of which can leak into groundwater causing illness and death. Experts claim that electronic waste accounts for 70 percent of the overall toxic waste currently found in landfills. These materials, even in small doses, can contaminate soil and drinking water. It is estimated that one cell phone dumped in a landfill has the potential to contaminate thousands of gallons of drinking water.

“Our mission is to improve the health of the communities we serve,” said Paul Bonis, President of Spectrum Health Kelsey and United hospitals. “Participating in this program is a fantastic way to not only reinforce our mission, but also to set a positive example for others.”

Spectrum Health staff members recycled telephones, cell phones, VCRs, DVD players, video game units, calculators, radios, stereos, CD players, MP3 players, iPods, copiers, scanners, fax machines, microwaves, blenders, laptops, computers, monitors, speakers, keyboards, printers, scanners, docking stations, routers, power cords, cables, modems, memory sticks, circuit boards and hard drives.

The local recycling effort on September 26 was part of a growing push throughout the Spectrum Health system to recycle and conserve resources. “For several years now, we have developed programs to recycle paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, metal, newspapers, magazines, batteries, electronics and light bulbs,” said Josh Miller, Spectrum Health Sustainability Coordinator. “Our sustainability teams meet regularly to continue to look for ways to expand our ‘green’ energy and environmental initiatives.”

The Comprenew trailer was parked at seven different Spectrum Health entities over a period of two weeks. “In total, more than 17,000 pounds of electronic items were dropped off by Spectrum Health staff. That is a huge dent in the reduction of toxic waste in our landfills,” said Miller.
Spectrum Health is committed to providing excellent personal care and services through state-of-the-art technology and qualified, caring staff at the Kelsey Hospital in Lakeview and the United Hospital in Greenville.