Greenbriar Animal Hospital works hard to deserve the 'green' in our name. We like to keep our footprint in the local ecology as small as possible. Firm believers in recycling, we participate in 'regular' recycling (office paper, magazines, cardboard, glass, other papers, plastic, and metal), for office items as well as for our staff's personal recyclables from daily living (drink cans/bottles, etc.).
Old medical records and expired office and/or medical paperwork are all shredded and then recycled. Discontinued forms are first used as scratch paper and then recycled as waste paper. And we recycle used toner cartridges and ink cartridges.
But we also go a few steps further! We recycle styrofoam packing peanuts, styrofoam boxes, and other packing materials (we receive daily shipments of supplies and have lots of packing materials that would otherwise be put into the trash). If you ever have a need for styrofoam boxes, packing peanuts, or cardboard boxes, please let us know!
There are many little things we do in our recycling program, like re-use the styrofoam trays that blood testing tubes come packed in (they make great test tube racks and pen holders), turning rigid syringe casings into various special holders, or re-purposing stiff plastic packaging into urine collection trays to help dog owners obtain a urine sample!
We also recycle disposable ice packs (we get these by the dozen every week). The innards go into Dr. Olson's compost, and the outer sleeve is recycled with our plastics. The gel inside these packs helps to hold moisture in the soil, and is non-toxic to plants and animals but should not be put directly into pots or directly around existing plants. If you'd like to receive a dozen (or more) temporary but re-useable ice packs (to use for cooling purposes or to put into your own compost pile), just let us know.
At Greenbriar Animal Hospital, we use mostly four foot long fluorescent light bulbs. These last a really long time, but when they go dark they are also recycled. We even recycle our old paint!
While we are not allowed to accept donations (or returns) of prescription medications, we DO encourage donations of pet items that you are no longer using - food, treats, toys, beds, carriers, collars, leashes, crates, etc. We make sure to pass these on (another way of recycling) to various local rescue leagues, where they benefit pets in need. Whenever we have non-prescription items at the hospital that we are not using, we add them to our current donation box (we always have one in the process of being filled). If you have some odds and ends of pet items, please feel free to bring them by for our donation box!
Rachel set up our entire recycling program, and is always coming up with new and additional things we can do. Typically, she makes recyling runs every week. If you'd like to take some of our recycling off our hands for your own use, please call the hospital at (703) 378-8813 and ask to speak to Rachel, or send an email request to her at GAHPets@GAHPets.com. We'd hate to have you show up on the day she just delivered everything to the recycling center!
We participate in another type of recycling, where we donate old medical equipment and soon-to-expire or discontinued veterinary supplies to Project Vets, a non-profit organization that sends our donations on to veterinary centers in poor areas of this country, to third world countries, and to in-the-field research programs all around the world. So, if you ever find yourself with a half case of medical supplies you no longer have a need for, ask us - we can get you the address for Project Vets. They'll be glad to receive your donation!