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Ideas That Work: With Recycling, Seeing Is Believing
Publish Date: January 6, 2022   |  Tags:   Environmental Stewardship Ideas That Work Workplace Culture
MAKING IT OBVIOUS Instead of providing an easily forgotten text-based list of items that can and can’t be recycled, Regions Hospital placed this visual aid in its OR lounge.   |   Susan Pepin

When Regions Hospital in St. Paul, Minn., wanted to step up its sustainability efforts, placing more recycling bins around the facility was a great start. But too many staff were still uncertain about what should be recycled and what shouldn’t. That led Service Line Supervisor Susan R. Pepin, RN, BA, CNOR, to a good idea. “I’m not stuck in the rooms all day, so I float around and get a chance to talk to people,” she says. “When we first started trying to get staff more involved in recycling, some of them said, ‘Can you give us a list of the items we can recycle?’”

Ms. Pepin did them one better. She purchased poster boards about a quarter-inch thick, then used a glue gun to affix typical items onto “DO NOT RECYCLE” and “RECYCLE” boards. She placed them in the OR lounge for staff to see for about a month. “A picture’s worth a thousand words,” she says. Inspired by the added clarity, Regions Hospital staff now recycle appropriate items more than ever.