FARGO - Staff at the new Sanford Medical Center Fargo can say "goodbye" to carting laundry and recyclables through hospital hallways.
A pneumatic tube system hidden from sight will whisk those items away in minutes.
If you have gone through the drive through lane at a bank, you've seen the tubes they use to send money back and forth.
Take that concept, apply it on a grander scale and you have something similar to the pneumatic tube system at the new Sanford Medical Center Fargo.
"It's essentially a very large vacuum cleaner. It's a very efficient and safe way to transport waste, recycling, and soiled linen throughout our one-million square-foot facility,” said Construction Project Manager, Phil Siek.
Here's how it works: Each of the 11 floors has a station with two openings: one for recycling, and one for soiled linen.
They simply drop a bag in, and it zooms through the hospital walls at 60 miles an hour.
Minutes, or sometimes seconds later, it appears in this room - next door at the Central Energy Plant.
“It's so easy to recycle now,” said Siek.
Recycling drops out of one opening.
Linens, meantime, come out a different opening, it’s like a giant, suctioned, laundry chute.
From bedsheets, to gowns and pillowcases, hospitals go through laundry quickly and Sanford recycles about 150 tons of material each year.
"This is going to save us time as far as just having not as many people having to haul the trash throughout the facility,” said Environmental Services Director Sheree Vetter.
She says it will also cut down on cart traffic in the halls.
"You won't see that in the facility and it won't be mingled in among staff and our patients and visitors,” said Vetter.
Sanford is planning a test run of the system this Fall.