An OSF HealthCare campaign among five hospitals to keep non-working Christmas lights out of the landfill was wildly successful, resulting in diverting one-and-a-half tons from the waste stream.
It is estimated household waste increases by 25 percent between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, adding an extra six tons of trash to landfills nationwide.
Steve Looney, Western Region Director of Facilities Operations for OSF HealthCare, predicted this year’s unwanted Christmas light drive would collect 500 pounds. But, the initiative which began with three hospitals, saw two additional hospitals join a friendly competition, which resulted in a final collection total of slightly more than 3,000 pounds broken lights.
“We are involved in a number of sustainability efforts at our various medical facilities but it was satisfying we could extend an effort to include several communities we serve, said Looney. He added, “Obviously, area residents found this a much-needed service and I’m just thrilled we could play a role in diverting so much waste from local landfills.”
Eagle Recycling in Galva partnered to accept the lights which can be stripped down to raw materials including plastic, glass and copper which can be reused to make new products. The collection drive was held from December 3 through January 11.
OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford won the friendly competition with 925 pounds collected. Facilities Manager Mike Mader was impressed by the response.
“The final tally from our efforts far exceeded our wildest expectations, especially because it was our first time participating here at OSF Saint Anthony. It’s a tremendous feeling knowing that we could serve as a valuable community resource,” said Mader.
Here are total results collected by hospital:
#1 OSF Healthcare Saint Anthony Medical Center, Rockford, IL- 925 Lbs.
#2 OSF Healthcare Saint Paul Medical Center, Mendota, IL- 816 Lbs.
#3 OSF Healthcare Saint Luke Medical Center, Kewanee, IL- 594 Lbs.
#4 OSF Healthcare St. Mary Medical Center, Galesburg, IL- 515 Lbs.
#5 OSF Healthcare Holy Family Medical Center-Monmouth, IL- 211 Lbs.