August 29, 2013

Recycling a hospital

Aerial view, Bess Kaiser Hospital, Portland OR, 4/15/1967. Built 1959, closed 1996.

What does one do with a decommissioned hospital? When Portland's beloved Bess Kaiser hospital was closed down (to become the American headquarters of the Adidas sporting gear company) several 40-foot shipping containers of recycled components — doors, fixtures, cabinets, even the proverbial kitchen sink — were salvaged and crated up.

Community volunteers and hospital staff worked with the Portland Rebuilding Project and Mercy Corps to ship these still-usable items to far-flung health care facilities in Central America, the Balkans, and Central Asia.