By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Anastasia Puscian, Naval Medical Center San Diego Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO (APR. 23, 2010) - The Navy will observe the 40th anniversary of Earth Day April 22. Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) does its part to conserve energy on a daily basis.
In 2009, NMCSD recycled 15 percent of the hospital’s total solid waste. The hospital recycles a variety of materials that range from white paper, batteries, electronic waste such as: computers pagers, large kitchen appliances, cell phones to aged and unusable hospital linens.
“Last year the recycling program generated $35,000 in revenue and we have already hit the $30,000 mark as of Jan. for this year,” said Lt. Stephanie Byford, operations officer, Facilities Management department. “We anticipate making between $55,000-65,000 this year in revenue and we have diverted 263 tons of waste from going into the landfill.”
NMCSD has cut energy costs by painting the roofs of buildings one, two and three white. This is especially important in the summer when the temperature rises, the white roofs help deflect the heat, which keep the buildings cool while reducing the energy outputs of air conditioners. The rest of the hospital’s roof buildings will be painted white as repairs are needed.
Along with the replacement of hands-free faucets throughout NMCSD bathrooms to conserve water, the hospital is also in the process of removing the old sprinkler system and replacing it with a humidity sprinkler detector system to prevent over watering the landscape.
For the honeybees that like to make NMCSD their home, there is a capture and release program. It prevents the unnecessary killing of bees and relocates them to areas of the country that have a shortage. Bees are vital in the pollination of plants and flowers including those harvested for consumption.
“We are currently in the process of having our environmental data, asbestos locations, lead locations, hazardous waste storage sites, etc, added to the Geographic Information System (GIS). GIS is a centralized program that can be accessed by anyone at the command who may have the need for the information a moments notice; such as during fires, mass casualty incidents and floods,” said Byford.
NMCSD’s Eco-EMS Cross Functional Team will celebrate Earth Day in the courtyard educating staff and patients about being environmentally conscience and to encourage sign up for recycling pick-up services.
The Environmental Division is responsible for the management of all environmental programs at NMCSD, outlying branch medical clinics, branch dental clinics and Tricare Outpatient Clinics. The environmental division ensures NMCSD complies with federal, state, and local environmental laws, rules and regulations in addition to the Department of Defense and the Department of the Navy policies, instructions, directives and guidelines.
The Navy’s theme for Earth Day 2010 is “Partnering for a Greener Future.” The Navy is forming partnerships in the public and private sectors in order to promote and support its energy and environmental goals. The Navy and its partners are committed to conserving natural resources, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and lessen the dependence on fossil fuels.
For more information on NMCSD please visit: http://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmcsd/Pages/default.aspx