Hospital Pathology Labs Step Up Recycling Efforts

When Upstate University Hospital employee Mickey Muscolino heard about the push to increase recycling in the hospital, he decided to do his part.

And then some.

Mickey Muscolino with recycling bin

With one of the new recycling bins in Upstate University Hospital's Clinical Pathology lab (left to right): technologist Thomas Pope, and assistant supervisors Helene Degan and Mickey Muscolino.

Muscolino, an Assistant Supervisor in Cytogenetics, contacted Jason Rupert, Assistant Director in Environmental Services to request an extra 15 recycling bins. They're now in use in the Clinical Pathology lab on the hospital's third floor and the Anatomical Pathology lab on the sixth floor.

More than 200 people are employed in those areas, so even a small gain in how much is recycled instead of tossed out will make a substantial difference, Muscolino said.

"In with the green, out with the red," he said, referring to the color of the trash bags used in the hospital. Green is symbolic not only of recycling and the environment, but also dollars. Rupert said recycling efforts saved the hospital more than $450,000 in the last year alone.

The additional bins and educational efforts in the two pathology labs are only a couple of months old, so it's too soon to measure any progress. But according to the cleaners who work in this area, the amount of recycled material removed weekly has doubled or tripled.

Think Green Fair, Thursday, May 22, 2014
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...every nickel counts! Before you toss that returnable soda or water bottle into any other bin on campus, look for specially marked receptacles featuring the 5-cent bottle sticker.
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Climate Action Plan
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In 2009, Upstate president David R. Smith, MD signed the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), committing the university to become "carbon neutral" by 2050.

Upstate submitted its first Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory in 2010, and began work on a Climate Action Plan PDF document that was completed and submitted to the ACUPCC in May 2011.