Minneapolis-based global non-governmental organization MATTER announces that it is committed to repurposing medical equipment and supplies to aid people and reduce landfill non-hazardous medical waste amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The MATTER 360° initiative accomplishes this through distributions to international hospital and clinic partners, from resale efforts, and by recycling. 

MATTER has been involved in repurposing medical equipment and supplies since 2002, and in 2019, more than 1 million pounds was repurposed. The vast majority (93%) of medical supplies and equipment donated to MATTER is repurposed through distribution to hospitals and clinics around the globe. This allows medical equipment and supplies, not useful in their current situation, to transform into a vital, life-saving role in another part of the world, MATTER officials say. 

Ellie Zuehlke, director, community benefit and engagement at Allina Health, affirms the value of MATTER’s approach, commenting: “The MATTER 360 model allows hospitals to donate their excess supplies and retired equipment knowing they are helping people and the environment. Repurposing versus disposal is a win-win proposition.” 

“Repurposing medical equipment and supplies allows physicians around the world to care for patients who might otherwise not get the care they need and deserve,” adds Christopher Tashjian, MD, a physician at Vibrant Health Family Clinics. “I have seen the results myself and know that the MATTER 360 model makes a life-changing difference.”

Of the remaining supplies and equipment received, MATTER remarkets approximately 2% via sales channels to support MATTER projects and operations. Moreover, unusable supplies and equipment—approximately 5%—is recycled annually, resulting in total waste of just 0.6%.

“We continue to look for hospitals and other medical industry partners who want to ensure that their surplus equipment and excess supplies are put to good use when they are no longer needed in their current location,” concludes Joel Anderson, MATTER’s medical program director. “Our partners find us responsive, flexible, and an easy solution to quickly and efficiently donate medical supplies and equipment.”