Feature Stories

Robert Hood, April, 2021

UCSF Medical Center to Launch Recycling and Reduction Revolution in September

The UCSF Medical Center is working with Engie Impact, a sustainability and energy management company that helps organizations embed sustainability into their operational strategies, to launch a Recycling Revolution this fall.

“We’ve had a difficult time meeting our recycling and sustainability goals,” said Isabel Jauregui (photographed above), the sustainability waste analyst at the UCSF Medical Center and project lead. “To reach those goals, we’re partnering with ENGIE Impact, consultants in sustainability. They are going to help us develop a system to increase our recycling and reduce the amount of trash we generate.”

Jauregui said there is a financial incentive to meet the goals of the new Recycling and Reduction Revolution. “UCSF Health has specific goals related to waste reduction and diversion that are set by the UC Office of the President,” she said. “On top of that, the City and County of San Francisco has additional guidelines and we can be fined by Recology if we don’t meet their threshold.”

That’s where ENGIE Impact comes in. The company helps organizations embed sustainability into their operational strategies. The process starts with tailored roadmaps to help organizations establish and achieve their sustainability goals.

“We’re in the middle of the project,” Jauregui said. “This started in May and they came to assess UCSF Health and the three hospitals in June. They walked through utility rooms, break rooms, bathrooms, nurse stations, and more.”

The experts at ENGIE Impact analyzed the type of waste being generated and the current messaging. “They performed a week-long walkthrough of our facilities and then they collected a day’s worth of waste, or about 1,000-pounds of trash, to audit. Everything was bagged and tagged so we knew where it came from. Then we sorted it so we knew what was recyclable, what was compostable, and what needed to go to the landfill.”

ENGIE Impact will return in September when the Recycling Revolution is launched. They will conduct audits in individual units to analyze the waste stream and provide data. UCSF Health Sustainability and Hospitality Services will also launch new signage, waste stations, and personalized training. “The data we collect in September will be used to develop customized training for individual offices,” Jauregui said.

Jauregui is also looking for Sustainability Champions at UCSF Health sites. She is planning to build a network of “Green Champions” that will communicate regularly and identify key sustainability issues. They will also establish monthly e-waste events at each campus. To help with this effort, contact Jauregui by email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).