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3 Ways CME Corp Reduces Waste in Healthcare Construction Projects

By Cindy Juhas | September 26, 2019

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as cited in a recent Building Forward article, 169 million tons of building construction and demolition waste was generated in 2015 (the latest period for which data is available.)  Only 38% of this debris was recovered for recycling.  This is a big number and one that many are looking to improve.  

CME has been working on decreasing 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.  

CME has focused on three specific areas to help decrease waste at healthcare construction sites.

Cardboard, Pallets, and Other Packing Materials

According to Eric Robinson, CME’s Vice President of Operations, 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 just from the delivery of the new equipment.  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.

When CME trucks arrive at a construction site, most new equipment is already fully assembled, mobile, and wheeled directly to rooms, placed where it belongs and ready for use.  There is a small percentage of equipment that is kept in their original shipping packaging, as those products may have multiple parts that need to stay together, or are too delicate to be unpacked in advance.  

Many of these are contractor-installed items that need to be boxed until they are installed, mainly to mitigate damage and loss of parts.  “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.”

Manufacturer Collaboration

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 handle 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.

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.

Recycling, Donating, or Reselling Decommissioned Equipment

Many current healthcare construction projects are focused on renovating or repurposing current spaces.  In these instances there is always used equipment that needs disposition. CME has an array of disposition solutions to keep that old equipment out of the landfill.  

CME can pick up and remove old equipment at the same time we deliver new equipment, streamlining the process at the loading dock and efficiently getting old equipment out of the way.  CME can buyback any piece of equipment that has some value or facilitate sending it to a charitable organization or recycling facility.

CME also has a complete disposition solution for a healthcare system.  We offer a full-service agreement, that highlights the assessment of all decommissioned equipment, execution of the desired disposition pathway and effective profit-sharing opportunities.


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 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.

Hospital Construction Project