Skytron Blog

3 Ways to Maintain an Eco-friendly Sterile Processing Department
  • Written By
    Rebecca Kinney
  • Published
    May 16, 2024

Exploring how we can, in our Sterile Processing Departments (SPDs), help minimize the waste that is happening in our facilities to create a more eco-friendly environment.

Did you know the United States healthcare industry generates an estimated 5 to 6 million tons of waste yearly, with 5 billion pounds (or about half) attributable to the nation’s nearly 6,100 private and public hospitals? This waste number is a broad one and refers to the collective waste related to medical procedures, including waste generated within healthcare facilities, laboratories, research centers, healthcare-related food systems; medical waste plastics (MWPs); pharmaceutical, chemical, radiological, or infectious agents; personal protective equipment (PPE); and human or animal tissues and remains, among other types.1

That’s a huge number that captures our attention, but how can we, in our Sterile Processing Departments (SPDs), help minimize the waste that is happening in our facilities to create a more eco-friendly environment? It can sometimes feel nearly impossible to make a dent in the bigger picture, but we believe that by focusing on the three areas we discuss in this newsletter, you can start making an impact.

  1. Be Aware of Water Consumption

In one study conducted, hospitals with 138 to 550-bed capacities, with in-patient admissions of 5,100 to 11,600 per year have an annual water usage ranging from 15 to 67.2 million gallons.

Again, this number is massive and all-encompassing, but we want to provide it to you so you can see just how much water is used in the United States on average in one facility. It’s hard to quantify what we consume collectively, but it is big. So what can you do when it comes to the water consumption used in your SPD?

It comes down to having the right products in place. If the time is nearing for new washer-disinfectors, cart washers, or sterilizers we want to share with you why we believe Skytron solutions can help.

Skytron Solutions:

Our Sterling P1000/M1000 washer-disinfector on average uses 60% less water than our competitors:


Our Sterling P1800 uses 39% less on average:

Water recirculation system used in the Integrity Series Sterilizers and the C2000 Cart Washer reduces water use by up to 65% without affecting cycle times. Unlike similar systems, Skytron models are integrated within the cabinet, preserving the unit’s tight footprint. It also meets or exceeds all AAMI-ST8:2008 standards.

The recirculation reclaims water from steam condensation, steam creation, and vacuum.  The internal water reservoir maintains a consistent water supply despite possible fluctuations that can result in wet packs or cycle failures. Lastly, the water temperature in the reservoir is maintained, thereby eliminating the need for additional cold water to meet drain temperature requirements.



  1. Be Conscious of Space Utilization

Space is a limited resource that is not within our control. Our hospitals or ASCs only have X amount of square feet for each department in a given space. How we arrange and leverage that space depends on the equipment required to operate.

Skytron Solutions

When it comes to sterilization technology, we understand that your needs are unique – in capacity, efficiency, usage savings, and more. Whether you’re outfitting a new facility, renovating an older one, or simply replacing outdated technology, our line of Integrity sterilizers brings superior technology and versatility that improves your sterile processing workflow. We offer three different sizes so we can provide your sterile processing department with exactly what you need.

Washer-disinfectors come in all shapes and sizes, and we at Skytron are proud that our line of washers really can make a difference when it comes to size. Here is a quick glance compared against other competing models:




 Caption: Sterling P1000/M1000



Caption: Sterling P1800

Whether you are looking for sterilizers that or washer-disinfectors, we have an option to fit your space.

  1. Monitor Chemical Usage

The chemical usage within our SPDs varies greatly depending on case volumes, the number of ORs, the equipment we use, and the chemical distribution systems utilized in decontamination.

We believe it comes down to proper education on water-to-chemical ratios and a system and equipment that simplify the process.

Skytron Solutions:

Our EZChem system minimizes chemical waste, eliminates washer downtime, eliminates handling of harsh chemical concentrates, and improves workplace safety. It provides an automated distribution system for bulk chemistry.

We pair this system with our Clean Start Chemicals, which are optimized for the use of the Skytron Sterling Series Washer Disinfectors and Skytron Flex Ultrasonic Disinfector systems. Clean Start Chemicals minimize chemical waste, eliminate washer downtime, eliminate handling of harsh chemical concentrates, and improve workplace safety.

Making the Difference

The equipment you utilize in your facility can indeed make an impact in big and small ways. Whether it’s a large impact by working to reduce water consumption, being conscious of the physical space and equipment dimensions, or something as small as being aware of chemical use in your SPD, you can play a role in creating a healthier, more eco-friendly Sterile Processing Department within your facility.


  1. APHA | Health Care Waste Policy Statement