ROCKPORT, Maine — Launched on Earth Day in 2007, Pen Bay Healthcare recently celebrated several years of environmentally friendly milestones with its Shades of Green project. In the beginning, there were six Pen Bay participants, led by nurse Kathleen Florance, Pen Bay Shades of Green coordinator.
Recent accomplishments include:
• A full Zero-Sort Recycling program has been implemented, with recycling bins purchased and placed in every department.
• Energy-efficient windows recently were installed in the medical center cafe.
• On average, six 45-gallon bags are taken to be recycled every day. Pen Bay also eliminated the use of nearly 400,000 styrofoam cups a year.
• Active Food Composting programs are now in place. The Knox Center for Long-Term Care has its own food composting program, and at Pen Bay Medical Center, approximately 42,000 pounds of food waste were composted last year.
• Pen Bay sends Partners for World Health 3,600 pounds of medical supplies to be reused in developing countries. Food composting and medical supply reuse are two conservation efforts that saved the hospital approximately $8,180 in waste disposal costs last year.
• The Knox Center steam boiler system was swapped out for several new, high-efficiency machines. Also at the Knox Center, where all the laundry for the Pen Bay system is processed, a state-of-the-art ozone cleaning system was installed in 2009.
• Hot water use at the Knox Center has been reduced by more than 75 percent. The ozone system paid for itself in a year and reduced the laundry service’s carbon footprint by the equivalent of taking 153 cars off the road for a year.
For 2012, the goal is to focus on water conservation and staff education. Low-flow water valves are being installed on toilets at the medical center and 2010 Gala funds donated by the community enabled the purchase and replacement of low-flow water valves for patient room toilets and the addition of faucet aerators. The estimated savings is 10,000 gallons of water a year.
Read more about Pen Bay’s green initiatives at http://www.pbmc.org/green.