Hospital Recycling Metrics Collection Guidelines

It is important to collect data in order to track progress and set goals for your plastics recycling program. This information can also be a valuable input for your program communication plan.


Here are some suggestions for data points that can be collected by the MRF/recycler and by your hospital, and some suggestions for Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that can be used to track progress. 


Information Collected by the MRF/Recycler
  • Tons or pounds of plastics collected from hospital for recycling. If plastics are segregated, identify the amount of each type of plastics collected

  • Tons or pounds of plastics that were collected but were not acceptable for recycling. Identify the reason for rejection.

  • Contamination in recyclable plastics stream, if this information is available. Identify the type of contamination (paper, cardboard, etc.), and quantify the amount of contamination as much as possible.

Information Collected by the Hospital
  • Tons or pounds of waste generated. Do not include construction and demolition debris because of the significantly heavier weights of these waste materials and the sporadic nature of this waste stream

  • Waste breakdown: tons or pounds of solid waste, tons or pounds of recycled waste, tons or pounds of regulated medical waste, tons or pounds of hazardous waste.

  • Number of staffed beds.

  • Total and adjusted patient days per month.

  • Number of procedures or operations per month.

Suggestions for Key Performance Indicators
  • Total tons or pounds of recycled plastics.

  • Pounds of recycled plastics per staffed bed (calculate based on staffed beds in recycling program area.)

  • Pounds of recycled plastics per adjusted patient day (calculate based on adjusted patient days in recycling program area.)

  • Pounds of recycled plastics per operation or procedure (calculate based on operations or procedures recycling program area.) 


If the hospital currently maintains sustainability metrics or participates in Practice Greenhealth annual sustainability benchmarking activities, plastics recycling and waste diversion will positively impact these metrics and the hospitals’ standing in the PGH rankings.


Discover more resources for running and improving your hospital plastics recycling program.