Cardinal Health (NYSE:CAH) recently opened an expanded sustainable technology facility in Riverview, Florida.
The facility is now twice as large, at 100,000 square feet, Dublin, Ohio-based Cardinal Health said.
The medical device manufacturer and distributor launched Sustainable Technologies in 2015 to collect, recycle and recycle single-use devices in the U.S. Sustainable Technologies now works with more than 3,000 U.S. hospitals and ambulatory care centers, Cardinal Health said. .
The FDA allows multiple uses of single-use devices if recyclers can demonstrate that the remanufactured devices are substantially equivalent to the original device. Many disposable devices can be recycled when they cannot be recycled.
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“Sustainable Technologies is a unique growth business within Cardinal Health,” Pete Bennett, vice president of global planning, said in a press release. “Our investment in this expansion reflects Cardinal Health’s commitment to helping reduce the environmental impact and waste of healthcare. [single-use device] recycling”.
Cardinal Health said single-use device recycling is one of the biggest opportunities to reduce hospital waste. The company cited a report by the Medical Device Recyclers Association that US hospitals saved $372 million in 2020 thanks to recycled single-use devices.
These devices are 25% to 40% cheaper than their new counterparts, according to the association that represents the recycling and recycling industry for single-use devices.
“The broader scope of sustainable technologies allows businesses to create new products for consumers and better meet growing demand for existing products,” Bennett said. “This is a win-win for us, allowing us to help more customers reduce costs and eliminate more waste from the environment.”
How Cardinal Health’s sustainable technology business works
Sustainable Technologies identifies optimal locations for single-use device collection bins and plans for regular recycling pickup. In a sustainable technology facility, used products are then inspected, sorted, cleaned, tested, inspected, disinfected, sterilized, and redistributed to healthcare facilities.
Devices that can be recycled include pneumatic tourniquet cuffs, later air transfer pads, compression sleeves, disposable lead wires, pressure infusion bags, and pulse oximetry sensors.
The Riverview facility recycled, reused or recovered more than 2.5 million pounds of solid waste, and 99.9% of the waste was diverted from landfills, Cardinal Health said. The facility recovers precious metals from batteries and wires, such as paper towels, fabrics and sorts corrugated cardboard for recycling into paperboard or chipboard products.
Non-renewable material and pharmaceutical and hazardous waste from sustainable technologies are incinerated, while regulated medical waste and industrial waste are sent to a waste-to-energy plant to be incinerated to generate electricity.
Cardinal Health posted 2022 sales of $15.9 billion for its medical segment, making it the eighth-largest medical device company in the world. Medical design and outsourcingMedtech Big 100 Ranking.