2023-10-18 14:05News

BD, Casella Recycle 40,000 Pounds of Used Medical Devices

Casella and BD logos with tagline

BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), a leading global medical technology company, and Casella Waste Systems, Inc. (Casella), a solid waste, recycling, and resource management services company, today announced the most recent results of a recycling pilot to manage discarded syringes and needles that led to 40,000 pounds of medical waste being recycled and diverted from disposal.

Health care facilities are a major consumer of syringes, which have been particularly difficult to recycle due to the various components and steps involved in the process, including safe handling of medical waste and treating and sterilizing materials before they can be re-introduced for recycling. This recycling pilot helps address a historic challenge within the health care industry – which generates more than 3 billion pounds of plastic waste in the U.S. alone.i

BD-Sharps-Collector-full-with-EclipseThe circular economy pilot, which took place in the first half of 2023, was the first large-scale effort to assess the feasibility of recycling medical waste found in red sharps containers. These containers included a broad range of medical equipment and materials, primarily syringes and needles. The medical waste was collected across a variety of health care facilities and all of the plastics were diverted from disposal and recycled. The pilot also assessed the technical feasibility of two types of technology – mechanical and advanced recycling – both showing favorable results in their ability to successfully recycle used medical devices for use in other products.

“Needles and syringes help enable a wide range of critical medical treatments and care, but they require plastic for production -- which generates waste and is one of the most relevant environmental issues facing the health care industry today,” said Chee Lum, vice president and general manager of injection systems for BD. “At BD, we are committed to reducing the environmental impact of our portfolio, and the results of this study show that by working together with industry partners, we can drive sustainable solutions that have a positive impact on the health of our planet and communities.”

The next stage of the pilot program will expand regionally to additional hospitals and non-acute care facilities. The teams will also increase focus to cover other types of medical materials for recycling, as well as reclaiming the used devices and returning them to the manufacturing process.

“This pilot showcases the strength of collaborative partnerships when it comes to sustainable material management practices,” said Casella Chairman and CEO, John W. Casella. “We are excited to find an opportunity to provide our expertise and services to a forward-thinking customer like BD to help enable new streams of sustainability and resource management. We’re pleased with the outcome of this first phase and look forward to continuing to expand on these results and provide solutions to one of health care’s most pressing waste issues.”

i Rizan C, Mortimer F, Stancliffe R, Bhutta MF. Plastics in healthcare: time for a re-evaluation. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. 2020;113(2):49-53. doi:10.1177/0141076819890554

About Casella Waste Systems, Inc.

Casella Waste Systems, Inc., headquartered in Rutland, Vermont, is one of the largest recyclers and most experienced fully integrated resource management companies in the Eastern United States. Founded in 1975 as a single truck collection service, Casella has grown its operations to provide solid waste collection and disposal, transfer, recycling, and organics services to more than one million residential, commercial, municipal, institutional, and industrial customers and provides professional resource management services to over 10,000 customer locations in more than 40 states.


Jeff Weld
Vice President of Communications
Jeff Weld