Recycling efficiency in the healthcare industry doesn’t need to be expensive: Betts Envirometal

Increasing scrutiny is being leveled at companies across all industries in regards to their environmental performance, but it’s a common fear that the price of doing right by the environment will be a steep one financially. This has historically been the case in the healthcare industry, as much as in any other. However, recent developments in both recycling techniques, and changes in processes made by recycling companies, have made the ethical disposal of waste more easy, efficient and affordable. 

The bad old days

While efficient recycling of waste has long been pushed as a goal for both businesses and individual citizens; by policymakers, pressure groups, and society as a whole, it’s only recently that doing so was a viable option. Not only have prices been extortionately high in the past, but recycling facilities were once rare and inefficiently equipped compared to their modern counterparts.

The techniques utilized were underdeveloped and less efficient; and facilities were underused by the public: just 7.5 percent of household waste was recycled in the UK during 1995. In isolation that figure may not be so surprising, but the figure, as of May 2013, had grown to 43 percent; indicating massive growth.

Inefficiency comes in many guises. However, especially when it comes to recycling, if materials aren’t dealt with in the correct manner it can lead to all sorts of complications down the line. Therefore, when companies seek to cut costs, and are resultantly unwilling to ask too many harsh questions of those they pay to do so, the results can be damaging to both the environment, and in extreme cases, human lives.

A glaring example of this was uncovered in 2003, when a Daily Mail report uncovered the illegal dumping of NHS e-waste in Ghana.  E-waste from Western countries is dropped en-masse into landfills in Ghana, as well as other developing, or less environmentally regulated countries, while the organizations believe that it’s being disposed of ethically. This is then picked apart by locals to whom the scavenging is their sole, desperate source of income. 

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