Chuck Haupt 
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Re: “How Much Garbage Does It Take to Treat a Patient?

Here in Alameda County hospitals are the 4th largest generators of waste (out of 48 business studied in the Alameda County Recycling Plan). So what is being done today to help reduce the environmental impact? Are there ways to recycle unused and unexpired supplies, that due to regulations, cannot be used again? The answer to both of these questions is answered by MedShare.

In addition to the plastic items mentioned in the article, hospitals regularly dispose of hundreds of other clean, unused, items, as well as surplus medical equipment such as beds, ultrasounds, and wheelchairs . MedShare, a non-profit organization, that I am the Executive Director of, is CA's first large-scale recycler of Medical surplus. Operating a 54,000 sq ft. Distribution and Volunteer Center in San Leandro, MedShare collects unused, unexpired surplus medical supplies and equipment from hospitals and medical manufacturers and distributors. These are items that would be destined for landfills or out-of-state incinerators, but instead, MedShare redistributes them to needy hospitals in developing countries as well as 21 community-based health clinics throughout California. Qualified recipients log on to use MedShare’s award-winning web-based inventory management system. Our extensive database of 10,000 items allow the overseas recipient to order EXACTLY the supplies and equipment they need to deliver better care to their patients.

More than 35 Northern CA hospitals partner with us to help our environment. In cooperation with leading hospitals, such as Sutter Health, Dignity Health, Kaiser Permanente and ValleyCare, we were able to divert an amazing 228 tons of surplus from local landfills in 2011. These hospitals recognize the local environmental benefit that their contributions have, as well as the impact that they will have on people’s lives around the globe.

We recently received Acterra’s 2012 Environmental Innovation award for our ground-breaking program to recycle surplus medical supplies and equipment. Last fall we also received the 2011 Reuse Award from California's statewide recycling association – the CRRA.

As one of the country’s top-ranked charities, MedShare has shipped over 820 forty-foot ocean containers of surplus medical supplies and equipment to hospitals in 93 developing nations. We’ll be shipping 5 more aid containers, through the Port of Oakland, to hospitals in Nigeria and Cape Verde in the coming weeks.

Want to help? More than 6,500 community volunteers donated their talents to help us sort and box the donations in the last 12 months! Visit to learn how the gift of 3 hours of your time can help the environment and save lives.
Chuck Haupt, Executive Director, MedShare,

13 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Chuck Haupt on 08/16/2012 at 10:09 AM

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