According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the United States generated 600 million tons of construction and demolition waste in 2018 (this is the most current data available) with approximately 180 million tons of that waste associated with building construction and demolition. Sadly, only 38% of this debris was recycled. These are mind-boggling numbers and many are looking for ways to reduce waste before it even gets to the project site.
CME has been working to decrease the amount of waste generated at a construction site for years. Not only is it important from a green perspective but decreasing waste at a construction site also helps the healthcare facility streamline activities at the site and ultimately facilitates on-time construction schedules. All of these factors are extremely important to healthcare facilities.
HERE'S HOW CME REDUCES WASTE
Minimizing Cardboard, Pallets, and Other Packing Materials
According to Eric Robinson, CME’s Vice President of Operations, from just the delivery of new equipment, a typical clinic construction project (40 exam rooms) will yield approximately:
- 2,100 pounds of cardboard,
- 4,000 pounds of pallets and
- 400 pounds of other packing materials
When CME’s direct-to-site delivery services are used, CME removes the packing materials at our service centers prior to delivery. Approximately 95% of those materials are recycled by CME.
“CME is dedicated to working toward a virtual cardboard-free delivery,” says Normand Chevrette, CME’s CEO and President. “It helps the environment as well as keeping the construction site clean and efficient.” When CME trucks arrive at a construction site, most new equipment is already fully assembled, mobile, and wheeled directly to rooms, where it is placed where it belongs, ready for use. However, there is a small percentage of equipment that is kept in its original shipping packaging, as those products may have multiple parts that need to stay together or are too delicate to be unpacked in advance.
For years CME has worked directly with manufacturers to decrease the amount of packing materials used as well as promoting recyclable packing materials. Currently approximately 95% of the packing materials we manage are recyclable, as compared to approximately 80% five years ago. We also encourage manufacturers to ship their products blanket-wrapped vs. boxed and palletized. While not necessarily the most cost-effective way to ship, it is certainly the greenest.
For example, one such partner-manufacturer working with us is Pedigo. Many of their products are conducive to blanket-wrapped shipping, especially their procedure and linen carts. CME and Pedigo have eliminated a significant amount of construction waste by working collaboratively.
While the EPA reports cited refer to construction and demotion waste, that is not the whole picture. Many current healthcare construction projects are focused on renovating or repurposing current spaces. In these instances, there is always used equipment that needs to be removed.
So, how does one evaluate the best pathway for disposing of decommissioned equipment?
The best way might be to find a partner who can help you with these decisions and execute the process. There are disposition companies who can be recruited to help you donate, recycle and refurbish your out-of-use assets. Connect with CME to explore equipment removal options for your project.
CME Corp is committed to doing their part and helping others to minimize waste. Learn more about just how green CME is with a visit to these blogs:
https://www.epa.gov/sites/default/files/2018-09/documents/construction_and_demolition_debris_generation_in_the_united_states_2015_final.pdf (page 26)
About CME: CME Corp is the nation’s premier source for healthcare equipment, turnkey logistics, and biomedical services, representing 2 million+ products from more than 2,000 manufacturers.
With two corporate offices and 35+ service centers, our mission is to help healthcare facilities nationwide reduce the cost of the equipment they purchase, make their equipment specification, delivery, installation, and maintenance processes more efficient, and help them seamlessly launch, renovate and expand on schedule.