FRAMINGHAM, MASS. - Conigliaro Industries Inc. is recycling plastic waste from 35 area hospitals. The Framingham-based firm recycles saline bottles, patient identification cards, intravenous bags, instrument trays, sterile wrap and other products made from polypropylene, polystyrene, PET and PVC, said President Gregory Conigliaro.
Recycling plastic from hospitals was ``a natural extension of what we were doing,'' he said.
The company had been recycling paper, cardboard and cans from hospitals for six and a half years. Although the company's expertise is in plastics, it was not until a year and a half ago that it made the move into operating room, patient care and biotechnology plastics.
``It saves the hospitals money and meets environmental goals,'' Conigliaro said.
The company can recycle products that previously had been placed in hazardous waste bags but did not necessarily need to be there. They are made into asphalt and cold-patch sealants, checkbook covers or binders.
``We did a lot of research and the risk factors [in handling the materials] are low,'' he explained.
Since Conigliaro Industries opened more than six years ago, it has recycled 40 million pounds of plastic.
``Our company gets involved in unique materials and niche areas,'' Conigliaro said. ``This is more innovative and requires more work and education.''
He expects other recycling companies across the country to use his program as a model. The company received support from the American Plastics Council in Washington.