Portland Hospital Service has a commitment to implementing Green Practices throughout its operation. We take our responsibility as stewards of the environment seriously.
From water reuse to heat reclamation, PHSC strives to continually develop and maintain Green Initiatives.
PHSC utilizes a custom designed and engineered water reuse and energy recovery system to conserve fresh water and natural gas. By strategically recapturing water that in the past would have gone straight to the sewer, a more water efficient wash process is obtained that requires less fresh water per pound of textiles. This reduces the demand PHSC puts on local water resources. Additionally, energy in the form of heat is recovered from waste water and is used to pre-heat fresh, incoming water. This reduces the amount of energy needed to heat the water, which reduces the amount of natural gas consumed and combustion products exhausted into the environment.
Laundry Detergents and Chemicals
Environmental stewardship is a principle that extends to the products and processes PHSC utilities to provide clean and safe linen. The active ingredients in our detergents, softeners and ancillary laundry products meet or exceed the EPA’s “Safer Choice” criteria for laundry products, formerly known as the Design for Environment (DfE) program. Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) are not used in our detergent, in favor of readily biodegradable surfactants that do not degrade into harmful sub-components. Our products also contain bio-renewable chemicals that are not derived from fossil fuels and are plant-derived chemicals. And, through the judicious and precise application of the laundry products in the wash process, we are able to exceed the performance of traditional, non-green chemical products.
Reuse and Recycle
- Laundry is one of the oldest recycling methods that stretches back centuries! We take a product that is unusable – a soiled textile – and turn it into a product that can be used again and again. By providing 100% reusable textile products, we reduce the amount of waste going to landfills and reduce the need to continually extract new materials from the environment to produce the item, unlike disposable products.
- When linens become unusable due to physical damage, loss of aesthetics or failure to perform the desired function, the textile is recycled instead of thrown away. Old textiles can be repurposed into less specialized items, such as cleaning cloths and rags. They can also be broken down to the molecular level and re-spun and woven into new textiles.
- By compiling customized surgical packs with reusable and fluid-repellent patient drapes, surgical gowns, sheets and towels and through processing in our Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council (HLAC) accredited facility, PHSC offers an alternative for disposable textiles in the operating rooms of our clients. The use of reusable textiles in operating rooms not only reduces the environmental impact of a hospital, but it also reduces the amount of hazardous – and expensive – red-bag waste a facility generates and must pay to dispose. Reusable surgical packs are ‘green’ and save clients greenbacks.