Recycling Medical Supplies

Healthcare facilities produce a diverse and overwhelming amount of waste - over 6,000 tons of waste per day.

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

Why Does This Matter? 

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.

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.

How It 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 world-wide.

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

Needed Supplies

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  • Out-of-date items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.

Questions?

Have questions about MERCI or want to learn more about donating or receiving supplies? Please contact:

Dawn Niles
MERCI Program Coordinator
dn8a@virginia.edu
434.924.2946

or

MERCI Program
434.982.4499 (Thursdays only)