The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Community

January 13, 2010

Charity keeps unused medical equipment out of landfills

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Boxes of surplus medical equipment sit on shelves in a brick city warehouse. Rows of medical beds occupy another section, not far from dozens of white IV poles.

These outdated and unneeded items likely would have headed to a landfill in the past. But over the years, organizations have been collecting, refurbishing, and sending useable equipment to developing countries which lack even basic medical necessities.

While humanitarian-based donations have long been around, the idea of refurbishing items and keeping goods out of landfills has been gaining ground as more hospitals go green.

“I think it was the idea that things that are getting discarded, that people are literally dying for the lack of overseas, and we’re throwing it away,” said Kathleen Hower, executive director of Global Links, a Pittsburgh nonprofit that recently marked its 25th anniversary.

“There’s an enormous need for just basic primary care materials,” she said. “If you keep people healthy with primary care, then it cuts down on the need for all that much more sophisticated care later on.”

U.S. hospitals annually throw out about 2,000 tons of unused medical supplies from operating rooms alone that are worth more than $200 million, according to Global Links.

Cecilia DeLoach, senior manager of sustainable operations at Practice Greenhealth, a nonprofit membership group for hospitals committed to environmental sustainability, said while concrete numbers are hard to come by, her group estimates that hospitals discard more than 200 million tons of waste a year.

Generally, hospitals try to figure out how they can generate less trash to begin with or how they can recycle, but “beneficial reuse,” such as the work done by groups like Global Links, is growing, she said.

Since its founding, Global Links has gathered more than 3,000 tons of items and sent them to developing countries, including Bolivia, Cuba, Haiti and Jamaica.

Text Only
Community
  • Dr. Diana Campbell Jones 40th Frontiers Club event Saturday

    Dr. Diana Campbell Jones will speak at the 40th annual awards luncheon of the Mercer County Frontiers Club at noon Saturday in Park Inn by Radisson, Shenango Township.

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Student teams excel in global competition

    Hermitage School District students competed in the 2013-14 Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications (COMAP) Competition. Nearly 600 teams from some of the top high schools around the globe participated.

    April 8, 2014

  • Dennis Ford Setting sail

    Dennis Ford holds up a pair of tweezers.
    “The most important tool of a ship builder,” he quips.

    April 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • 11 speakers go to state tourney

    The Mercer High School Speech Team placed seven of its speakers into the elimination rounds of competition at the Pennsylvania High School Speech League’s 53rd Annual State Tournament at Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove.

    April 4, 2014

  • Waltina Currie LTI student brings home gold

    Waltina Currie, Farrell, a member of Health Occupations Students of America at Laurel Technical Institute in Sharon, has returned from the State Leadership Conference in Lancaster, where she received a gold medal in Medical Spelling.

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • ‘Music and Memories’ benefits AWARE

    The Penn State Shenango Drama Club’s production of “Music and Memories: A Talent Show with a Twist!” features singers and musicians, a dance number, martial arts, a novelty number and a parody of Orson Welles’ version of “The War of the Worlds” as the story line tying together all the acts.

    April 3, 2014

  • "Lost and Found" Church presents musical prodigal son

    The biblical parable of the lost son – also known as the prodigal son – continues to touch people because of its themes of forgiveness, unconditional love, compassion, redemption and humility.

    April 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • marta nagel 0330 Onward Christian soldier

    An icon in social service agency circles, Salvation Army caseworker Marta Nagel looks back on the 25 years she’s spent feeding and clothing the poor and intends to keep pushing forward to help others, even as she acknowledges that her plan and God’s plan for her life went in different directions on multiple occasions.

    March 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Things to do from March 27, 2014

    March 27, 2014

  • Community briefs from March 27, 2014

    March 27, 2014

  • Musician David Bavas Nashville inspires ex-local musician

    In the east Nashville neighborhood where David Bavas lives, he can’t swing his guitar without hitting another musician.
    They don’t call Nashville “Music City” for nothing.

    March 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Boat captains, wood stackers needed

    WaterFire Sharon organizers are gauging interest in a class for boat captains and looking for volunteers to help stack firewood.

    March 26, 2014

  • At the library

    March 26, 2014

  • Things to Do from March 26, 2014

    March 26, 2014

  • Students enter most-ever inventions

    The 25th annual Invention Convention was held at Ionta Elementary School in Hermitage for fourth- and fifth-graders on Feb. 27. A record number of inventions, 182, were entered in the convention.

    March 26, 2014

Garage Sale Advertising
Facebook
NDN Video