For diverting 42 percent of its waste from the landfill, purchasing half the food it serves locally, and using compostable dishes, cups, and utensils, Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital recently became the first in the United States to be given a Gold Level Environmental Sustainability Certificate. Cottage VP Herb Geary recognized the hospital’s Nutrition and Environmental Services departments, saying “They are truly passionate about protecting the environment and the health of our community.”
In its 125th year of operation, Cottage Hospital received the recognition from the American Hospital Association. It submitted more than 200 pages of documentation of its practices – such as saving 42,000 pounds of plastic through its reuse of sharps containers and 3,400 pounds of cardboard through in-house compaction and recycling – in order to gain the certification.
Editor’s Note: This story has been corrected to reflect that Cottage does not reuse its needles; it is the containers for sharp items like needles that are now sterilized and reused.