Recycling Medical Supplies

Questions about MERCI?
Calls are only available on Thursdays.
Phone Number
Call 434.982.4499

MERCI has reopened. Please be aware of our new guidelines:

  • If coming to shop in person, you're required to:
    • Wear a face mask
    • Pause before entering to sanitize your hands
    • Wait for a volunteer to bring you in

Healthcare facilities produce a diverse and overwhelming amount of waste - over 6,000 tons of waste per day. Recycling medical supplies is one way to stop waste, save money and help organizations in need.

Why Does This Matter? 

Only about 15% of this waste is considered infectious, which means the remaining 85% is considered solid waste, including materials like cardboard, paper, metal, glass, plastics and unused medical supplies. Roughly 30-50% of what is routinely - and mistakenly - disposed of as regulated medical waste (RMW) could be managed as solid waste.

Recycling medical supplies like these syringes and bandaids helps save money and provide aid to those in need

Aside from costing up to 10 times as much as solid waste disposal, the disposal of RMW involves the use of facility incinerators, which can generate a host of hazardous emissions.

How Recycling Medical Supplies Works

The MERCI program functions at no cost to UVA. Throughout the week, participating departments drop off supplies in the recycling room on the ground floor of the Primary Care Center. Every Thursday, hospital volunteers sort through all of the donated items to ensure they are reusable. The items are then boxed and donated to several different humanitarian organizations.

Supplies from the MERCI Program are used by local, national and foreign groups. Local partners include the Charlottesville/Albemarle SPCA, the Virginia Wildlife Center and the Charlottesville Pregnancy Center. We also work with medical mission groups such as Gleaning for the World and Christian Relief Services, who ship supplies to missions worldwide.

MERCI also fills orders for employees and faculty who participate in medical missions.

Needed Supplies

Currently, we're only accepting donations from within the UVA Health System.

MERCI accepts the following materials:

  • Supplies that cannot be returned for credit
  • Opened but not used/no patient contact supplies
  • Deleted items
  • Out-of-date items

Get Supplies

Submit a request for medical supplies by completing this form.

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