Green Initiatives at NYHQ to Protect Community Land and Water Resources
New York Hospital Queens (NYHQ) has implemented “green” enhancements that have begun to reduce the amount of waste in landfills, improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This hospital will feature green initiatives at Earth Day Fair on April 23
Examples of the hospital’s green improvements include:
- Green roof project. NYHQ has partnered with Manhattan College to install trays of plants on the rooftops of the hospital. The plants can absorb the rainfall and reduce the amount of storm water runoff going into the natural waterways of Flushing.
- Investment in energy efficient Technology. NYHQ invested in a more energy efficient electric centrifugal chiller, when an older, gas-powered machine was decommissioned. In the year since the new chiller was installed, there has been a reduction in overall energy consumption by 17%. The chiller reduces annual carbon emissions by 1,655 metric tons. That is equal to the annual gas emissions from 325 passenger vehicles or a 7% reduction in overall carbon emissions.
- A biodigester in the kitchen. The new organic waste decomposition system is being used to break down food content from discarded food trays. The system can process up to 1,200 pounds of organic material per day. Microorganisms digest the waste, then the waste product goes down a special drain into sewer system. NYHQ is one of only few hospitals in NYC to have this system.
- Aggressive recycling program. To reduce the hospital’s contribution to landfills, waste management has been improved by ramping up recycling. Now, 15% of all hospital waste is recycled.
- Reliance on reusable materials. The hospital installed a Sharps collection system using reusable containers, which significantly helps reduce the hospital’s carbon footprint. New York Hospital Queens can prevent 34,203 pounds of carbon from being emitted annually by not sending 57,644 pounds of plastic and 4,453 pounds of cardboard to landfills. These numbers equate to conserving 1,761 gallons of gasoline.
“The hospital has taken a forward-thinking “green” approach by establishing environmental best practices, conserving resources, and protecting our community’s land and resources,” said Vito Cassata, vice president, General Services and Facilities Planning, New York Hospital Queens. “These efforts preserve the environment, and some of the initiatives can help us save energy costs.”
Green initiatives will be showcased at an Earth Day Fair on April 23, 2012, at the hospital. As well, the hospital’s sustainability council, informally known as the “Green Team,” will feature the hospital’s energy program, infrastructure projects, recycling, computer efficiencies and waste reduction strategies. As well, the Green Team will promote energy saving initiatives that employees can use at home.
New York Hospital Queens is an active “green” partner with federal, state, and city agencies, including the EPA, Department of Energy, New York State Research and Development Authority, and the New York City Economic Development Corporation. For more about NYHQ green initiatives, visit the hospital Web site: http://nyhq.org/gogreen.
New York Hospital Queens is a member of the NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System and affiliated with Weill Medical College of Cornell University.