The Green Environmental Management System (GEMS) program is a formal system for integrating environmental stewardship into the overall VA mission at Richmond VAMC. Required by Presidential Executive Order (EO) 13148 which is now succeeded by EO 13423, the goal of GEMS is to achieve continual improvement in environmental protection.
Therefore, all waste generated by the medical center is handled, transported, and disposed of in accordance with all Joint Commission standards, Occupational Safety and Health Administration(OSHA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and State of Virginia laws and regulations.
“According to Alan East, GEMS Program Coordinator, we should try to use products that contain less packaging, smaller containers, and packaging that uses high amounts of recycle content.” In addition, the VA’s national GEMS program requires that VA facilities go the extra mile and implement pollution prevention activities, which includes recycling programs and its waste streams.
Currently the Richmond VAMC Recycling Program incorporates the following single source waste streams: plastics, cardboard, office paper, wood, electronics, toner cartridges, liquid and aerosol paints, cooking oil, scrap metal, batteries, used motor oil, mercury, lead, and laboratory chemicals.
Remember, Reduce, Recycle and Reuse!