The program is a key component in Vanguard's commitment to medical and environmental stewardship, Masek said. "Healthcare facilities generate 6,600 tons of waste per day," he said. "Reducing medical waste and achieving cost savings from reuse and recycling are the cornerstones of what we do."
Vanguard takes already decontaminated trocars that are deemed unsuitable for reprocessing or those that are ready to be retired from reprocessing and separates them into their plastic and metal components. The polycarbonate plastic parts are then sent to a company that melts them down and remolds the plastic into new products.
Vanguard has made a significant investment in machinery to separate the trocars and staff to manage the program, Masek said. More than 12,000 trocars have been recycled so far in addition to about 15,000 deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) sleeves, he added. The company plans to add more types of devices to its recycling program, including stainless steel laparoscopic instruments and arthroscopic shavers, as well as titanium ultrasonic scalpels.
"Our customers are always looking for ways to eliminate medical waste and the costs associated with disposing of that waste," Masek said. "We share that concern -- our goal is to keep our products out of landfills."
Vanguard Medical Concepts Inc. serves more than 1,000 healthcare facilities nationwide. Since 1991, Vanguard has reprocessed more than 14 million devices. As a champion of the national Hospitals for a Healthy Environment initiative, Vanguard now offers two new customer programs -- Vanguard Advantage and Rapid Return -- that combine maximum savings with environmental stewardship.
Source: Vanguard Medical Concepts Inc.