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Atlantic Health System’s innovative program that utilized Powered Air-Purifying Respirators (PAPR), rather than disposable respirators, to keep healthcare workers safe during the pandemic has earned this longtime NJBIA member a state award for Source Reduction, Resource Management and Sustainability.

The use of PAPRs saved 2,400 disposable respirators from being used and thrown out each day, the state Department of Environmental Protection said. Over the course of a year, Atlantic Health’s system-wide initiative removed 876,000 disposable respirators from the waste stream.

Early in the pandemic, Atlantic Health System rapidly expanded its supply of 75 PAPR units to more than 800 of the re-useable and rechargeable devices, which incorporate multiple forms of protection and allowed the health system to reduce the need for disposable N-95 masks in certain care settings. Atlantic Health System’s hospitals – Morristown Medical Center, Overlook Medical Center, Newton Medical Center, Chilton Medical Center and Hackettstown Medical Center, were also honored last year with 2021 Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Awards for the PAPR initiative.

Atlantic Health was one of six businesses, organizations and individuals honored as 2022 New Jersey recycling leaders on Wednesday during the DEP’s 41st Annual Recycling Awards program held in conjunction with an annual recycling symposium hosted by the Association of New Jersey Recyclers.

“The Murphy administration commends the award winners for promoting recycling and educating their communities about the importance of diverting waste to better protect our natural resources,” Commissioner Shawn LaTourette said. “New Jersey is consistently a national leader in recycling, and we applaud the winners for going above and beyond to help keep the environment safe and clean for all.”

The other winners included:

  • Nestle Health Science of Bridgewater in Somerset County
  • Recycle My Battery, a Middlesex County-based nonprofit
  • Millville Executive Airport, Cumberland County
  • The Ridgewood Division of Recycling in Bergen County
  • Volunteer citizen Donald Cammus, of Florence Township in Burlington County

To learn more about all the 2022 winners, go to DEP’s website here.