Updated: 8/11/2011 1:15 p.m.
Kidney care services provider DaVita Inc. (NYSE:DVA) is taking on the environmental footprint left by its customers by launching a pilot program to recycle some of the waste from dialysis centers.
The Denver, Colo.-based company teamed up with Becton, Dickinson & Co. (NYSE:BDX) and Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE: WM) WM Healthcare Solutions Inc. to launch a recycling program at 106 DaVita dialysis clinics in Southern California.
The pilot program will focus on recycling dialyzers, the piece of equipment in the dialysis process that actually does the filtering. Waste Management will treat and collect recyclable parts from the dialyzers and Becton Dickinson will use the recycled materials to make new products and hand it to a large appliance recycling team.
The waste from dialyzers makes up the largest piece of the environmental footprint for DaVita.
“Because of the nature of dialysis, DaVita’s medical waste stream is very limited. This dialyzer and sharps recycling pilot allows us to dispose of the majority of DaVita’s medical waste in an environmentally friendly way," DaVita’s manager of sustainability Megan Bloomer told us.
We are hoping the pilot projects in Southern California are successful so we can build on recycling our dialyzers and sharps in all of our 1,600-plus clinics across the nation.”
"We have the potential to offset 350,000 pounds of dialyzer waste in this trial alone, which is incredible because until now, there has not been a ‘green’ way to dispose of dialyzers or other medical waste," DaVita chairman & CEO Kent Thiry said in prepared remarks.
"We are hoping the pilot projects in Southern California are successful so we can build on recycling our dialyzers and sharps in all of our 1,600-plus clinics across the nation," Bloomer told MassDevice.
"This pilot program has the potential to change the landscape of sustainable health care, particularly in the dialysis industry, and we are excited to be at the forefront of it," Thiry said.
Becton Dickinson, which ranked 11th on the MassDevice Big 100 list of the world’s largest medical device companies, already runs a recycling program that collects single-use medical sharps like needles and syringes, and that will be rolled into the pilot program as a service to DaVita’s centers, according to the release.