Stericycle, Inc.

Stericycle, Inc.

Stericycle, Inc.

Since our founding over 25 years ago, Stericycle has grown from a small start-up in medical waste management into a leader across a range of increasingly complex and highly regulated arenas, including compliance and sustainability waste services, brand protection solutions, and customer contact solutions. Every organization today must comply with increasingly strict regulatory guidelines and quality controls in the delivery of their core businesses. Large or small, businesses can’t always do it on their own. They seek out Stericycle to help them. We have the expertise and passion to take on many complicated and often behind-the-scenes services our clients don’t always know how to do well but ultimately make their businesses better.

Company details

28161 North Keith Drive , Lake Forest , IL 60045 USA
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Business Type:
Service provider
Industry Type:
Hazardous Waste
Market Focus:
Globally (various continents)
Year Founded:
1989
Employees:
Over 1000
Turnover:
more than $1,000,000,000 US

Since our humble beginning in 1989, Stericycle has focused on helping businesses protect people and brands, promote health, and safeguard the environment.

Leadership in Regulated Medical Waste

Our primary business comprises disposal services for medical and biohazardous waste. We serve hospitals, laboratories, physician practices, dental clinics, long-term care facilities, as well as numerous other businesses, facilities, and healthcare providers that generate sharps or potentially infectious material. Within the United States, we maintain the nation’s largest network of medical waste transport vehicles, collection sites, and treatment facilities. Globally, we operate medical waste services in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Romania, Spain, and Portugal.

In addition to medical waste services, Stericycle also offers specialized waste disposal services to healthcare facilities and other businesses, such as:

Our EXPERTSolutions and Communication Solutions Businesses

We have expanded our service offerings into additional business-to-business (B-to-B) areas:

  • Our Stericycle ExpertSOLUTIONS division provides the nation’s most comprehensive collection of brand protection services, including recall and retrieval services, mystery shopping, and sustainability solutions. We serve manufacturers of pharmaceutical, medical device, durable goods, and consumer goods with customized solutions to maintain brand integrity either proactively for quality assurance or reactively in recall situation.
  • Our Communication Solutions provide customized, critical communication services in Healthcare and multiple Commercial industries.We have leveraged three leading call center services brands and invested significant resources in infrastructure and team member training to further enhance our capabilities. Our operational excellence allows us to serve clients in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. As we take the burden off our clients for the communication portion of customer relations, you gain the freedom to focus on your core operational activities and experience stable growth.

A Global Leader and Still Growing

Through our many service offerings, we help our customers protect the safety of their workforce and their brands. We continuously strive to:

  • Improve the efficiency of our operations
  • Enhance our customers’ experience while maintaining our emphasis on safety and regulatory compliance
  • Focus on growth opportunities that meet the additional needs of our customers

The ‘80s and the Issue

The seeds of Stericycle were planted in the late 1980s, around the same time that illegally disposed medical waste began rolling onto the beaches of the Atlantic Coast. The media dubbed the event “Syringe Tide.”

The Law That Created an Industry

As a result of the media attention and the public outcry, the US Congress passed the Medical Waste Tracking Act of 1988, and the US medical waste industry was born. The law mandated separating and tracking medical wastes — instead of using routine practices that often combined medical wastes with “bulk” (regular) wastes.

The Trouble With the Law’s Implementation

Although the final disposal of medical waste was safer once it left a facility's dock, the greatest risks remained at the source of disposal.

Written with the intent of protecting people and the environment, the law also created confusion about which wastes were considered 'medical waste.' As a result, many hospitals and other healthcare facilities began disposing almost all of their wastes as medical waste. On its face, this may sound like a reasonable practice, but it actually created new difficulties:

  • Healthcare Costs Grew
  • Incineration Increased

Stericycle Offers a Solution with Great Potential

Stericycle was founded in 1989, and our company's plans addressed key questions for our customers:

  • What if we helped protect people from needlesticks and other biohazards at the origin of the risk?
  • What if we taught our customers how to separate biohazardous medical wastes from other wastes to reduce costs?
  • What if we used a new technology that helped render medical waste noninfectious without air emissions?

Support for the Idea and the Struggles of the Early ‘90s

Our original focus was on hospital medical waste. We introduced a new cost-effective way to render medical waste noninfectious. This method used a combination of heat, grinding of the wastes, and long-wave radiofrequency technology.

Like many other start-up companies that grapple with cash flow and initial capital expenditures, we struggled financially. Still, we maintained our commitment to our customers.

The Mid '90s and a Turnaround

A series of events changed the course of our history:

  • We went public, trading on the NASDAQ stock exchange in August 1996
  • We acquired the medical waste business of Waste Management in December 1996
  • We began our international expansion with a joint venture in Mexico and a licensing agreement in Brazil — both in1998

Our medical waste business emerged as the industry leader when we acquired 14 other acquisitions.

We also reached out to physicians, dentists, and the numerous other professionals and companies who dispose sharps (eg, needles, lancets, syringes) and other biohazards. Extending our services to these many customers, rather than hospitals alone, helped us protect more people across the continent.

Our Focus on Customer Education Continues

From the start, our emphasis on customer education differentiated Stericycle from other companies. We thought of the management of medical waste as a service that included resources and training. We helped our customers to properly segregate different types of wastes in accordance with regulations to protect themselves from numerous on-the-job biohazards.

To that end, we pioneered the Steri-Safe OSHA Compliance Program to offer customers critically important bloodborne pathogens training. Today, we maintain that educational legacy, which keeps our customers up-to-date with the latest information. One of those updates includes HIPAA Compliance that incorporates the 2013 Omnibus Rule.

Our International Initiatives Relieve Administrative Burdens

Outside of the United States, we strove to provide the same level of protection and risk reduction while helping meet emerging regulations, administrative requirements, and social concerns. Our international business grew through acquisitions.

Just as our hospital services and Steri-Safe OSHA Compliance Program have helped to reduce administrative burdens for so many US customers, we created services, tools and resources that relieved administrative burdens for healthcare professionals not only in Mexico, but also in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Ireland, Japan, Northern Ireland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Republic of Korea, Romania, Scotland, Spain, United Kingdom, and Wales. Beyond services related to healthcare wastes, in some markets we have expanded our service offerings to include management of certain hazardous wastes as well as patient transport and medical courier services.

Our Sustainability Programs Grow

Throughout our history, we actively sought opportunities to expand our ability to protect people and safeguard the environment.

We grew our hospital sustainability offerings in 2003 when we acquired Bio Systems and introduced our Sharps Management Service. Today, Sharps Management Service with Bio Systems containers has become the US leader in reusable sharps container management service.

Additionally, our pharmaceutical waste programs provide proper disposal of unused or expired wastes in hospitals, private practices, and pharmacies across the country.

Moreover, our hazardous waste services help a wide range of customers ensure that RCRA pharmaceuticals and other RCRA wastes are managed properly.

In retail, distributor, and manufacturing markets, our ExpertSUSTAINABILITY division began providing customized solutions for excess inventory and unsalable items in 2010. These solutions reduce disposal costs, protect our resources, and build sustainability scorecards.

Our Expansion Into Recalls and Returns

For Stericycle, medical waste services and compliance was just the beginning. We actively sought out opportunities that expanded our ability to protect people and brands. In 2003, we entered the reverse distribution industry via acquisition of DirectRETURN.

We are now the leading provider of pharmaceutical, medical device, durable goods, and consumer goods recall, trade returns, and retrieval services. Our systems handled the single largest prescription drug recall event in US history. Our business has expanded to provide other brand protection services like mystery shopping through Corporate Research International, and we continue to innovate ways to support a variety of manufacturing, distributor, and retail clients.

Our Communication Solution Division Launches

In 2010, we acquired three large communication companies, expanding our service offerings into Healthcare Communication Solutions and Commercial Communication Solutions. Several other acquisitions followed giving us a leadership position in telephone support services. Serving customers and patients across the United States, our Communication Solutions team provides a breadth of services designed to provide an exceptional customer experience for patients and customers.

Leadership in Hazardous Waste Solutions

In 2014, a major acquisition expanded and complemented our existing specialty waste services, making Stericycle a leader in hazardous waste solutions. With the formation of Stericycle Environmental Solutions, we broadened our ability to serve the needs of our healthcare, retail, and other regulated waste customers.

Only the Beginning

Throughout our company’s history, we've focused on our customers, regulated industries, education, and sustainability — all in support of our core purpose to help our customers fulfill their promise by providing solutions that protect people and brands, promote health, and safeguard the environment.

At Stericycle, engaged team members aren’t just a piece of the puzzle. They are our driving force, our secret to success. This is a company that values ideas and action. We seek to engage the inspired and the motivated, the team members excited about making things happen. Take a moment to learn more about our unique culture. Inspired employees make for loyal customers and satisfied shareholders…that’s our philosophy!

Our Core Purpose To help our customers fulfill their promise by providing solutions that protect people and brands, promote health and safeguard the environmentOur Stericycle Core ValuesIntegrity

We are honest and open in our interactions with others. When making decisions, we always do the right thing.

Accountability

We take ownership of our own actions and focus on solutions. We deliver on our promises.

One Team. One Goal.

We work as a team, no matter the goal. We share successes and failures together and work to make things better.

Customer First

We provide service that is valuable for our customers and exceeds their expectations. We respect the value of both our internal and external customers.

Continuous Improvement

We provide the most value while consuming the fewest resources. We embrace the talents of the people who do the work.

Enjoying our Work

We have a culture that fosters team member engagement and loyalty. We do so with a spirit of camaraderie.

At Stericycle, we help our customers by providing solutions that protect people and brands, promote health, and safeguard the environment. Environmental protection and support of sustainable solutions for our company and for yours are critical components of our services. Stericycle is committed to capturing new opportunities for sustainable growth by:

  • Providing services that sustain people, our customers, and the environment for the future
  • Managing our internal operations in socially and environmentally responsible ways
  • Continually striving to identify new modalities that minimize environmental impact

Learn more about our solutions for business sustainability, our sustainable transportation initiatives, and the greening of our plant operations.

Our Sustainability Business Solutions for Our Customers

Stericycle is proud to provide customers with a broad portfolio of services that are specifically designed to help you be environmentally responsible and achieve your “green” goals while maintaining regulatory compliance. Our sustainability solutions for our customers include:

  • Sharps Management Service Featuring Bio Systems Reusable Containers

    Our Sharps Management Service (SMS) is a comprehensive, proactive sharps disposal service for hospitals that features eco-friendly reusable Bio Systems containers. Our SMS has reduced the number of accidental needlesticks among hospital employees and prevented more than 140 million sharps containers from entering landfills.

  • Pharmaceutical Waste Solutions

    Our Pharmaceutical Waste Solutions are designed to prevent pharmaceuticals designated as waste from entering the water table. Stericycle offers services to physicians, hospitals, retail pharmacies, and pharmaceutical manufacturers for the proper identification and destruction of pharmaceutical waste.

  • Integrated Waste Stream Solutions

    Our Integrated Waste Stream Solution (IWSS) program centralizes the management of hospital waste, 80% of which is highly regulated. This integrated service focuses on environmental best practices, training to comply with complex federal and local regulations as well as Joint Commission Standards. With this program, hospitals have increased recycling from less than 10% of all waste to greater than 35%.

  • Retail Sustainability

    Stericycle StrongPak offers retail establishments a turnkey expert solution for the proper disposal of all retail wastes, including hazardous wastes and pharmaceuticals, while maintaining strict adherence with regulatory requirements for such wastes.

  • Manufacturer Sustainability

    Stericycle ExpertSUSTAINABILITY offers a complete line of services to manage unsalable products, byproducts, and nonperforming inventory for manufacturers, distributors, and research & development (R&D) facilities. Our customized solutions rely on pre-disposal deconstruction to minimize waste volume, reduce disposal costs, and maximize opportunities for sustainability.

Our Company's Internal Sustainability Initiatives

All our services and internal sustainable activities are completely consistent with our core purpose which includes safeguarding the environment. This fuels our determination to not only provide sustainability services, but also to lead by example. In our own company, we seek ways to reduce our environmental impact in every operational area.

Our ongoing objectives of waste minimization and recovery continue year after year, and we view all wastes as potential opportunities for recycling or alternative use.

Our Plant Operations SustainabilityMinimization of Incineration Treatment

Since 2001, we have focused on minimizing the use of incineration. We help you properly and conveniently segregate (separate) your waste streams. This reduces the need for incineration; except when legally required. We’ve been able to close many of our incinerator facilities, and we’ve assisted hundreds of customers in closing their onsite incinerators. About 10% of Stericycle's US treatment capacity now includes incineration, which is down from more than 30% in 2001.

  • Reusable Medical Waste Tubs

    Reusable medical waste tubs are our preferred transport container. We actively encourage all our customers to consider the use of reusable disposal containers instead of corrugated boxes to minimize the amount of deforestation. Since 2006, we have specifically initiated programs that foster the use of reusable containers among those customers who generate the largest quantities of medical waste, such as hospitals and medical centers.

  • Corrugated Cardboard Recycling

    Recycling of corrugated cardboard is implemented in the majority of our regulated waste treatment facilities and is an element of our ExpertSUSTAINABILITY service, which manages unsalable products, byproducts, and nonperforming inventory.

  • Energy-Efficient Lighting

    We routinely evaluate energy efficiency throughout Stericycle, and we’ve completed lighting surveys at 55% of our facilities. Our transition to high-efficiency lighting has been completed in 14 locations, saving more than 970,000 kilowatts (kwh) of electricity annually.

  • Boiler Turndown and Tune-up

    Our boiler use programs focus on maximizing in-use efficiency and minimizing energy use during downtime. Through this initiative alone, we have seen a 13.5% reduction in the daily use of therms at sites that have completed implementation.

  • Energy-Efficient Electric Forklift Leases

    Instead of diesel or propane powered lifts, electric forklifts are required for all new leases. Besides being energy-efficient, electric forklifts eliminate the fumes and air emissions in our plants. We have already placed 13 electric forklifts into service.

  • Emission Control Systems

    Use of the latest emission control systems is essential to our commitment to clean air standards. All our plants meet or exceed state and local standards for air emissions. Our plant teams carefully and constantly monitor air quality. As new technology becomes available, we’ll continue to evaluate these enhancements.

Transportation Operations Sustainability

  • Hybrid Vehicles

    We introduced hybrids as test vehicles within Stericycle during 2010 and 2011. We are now evaluating their overall fuel performance and reliability to ensure overall higher fuel efficiency.

  • Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Vehicles

    We introduced CNG vehicles into our fleet during 2012. Compared to diesel fuel, CNG burns cleaner and generates less carbon emissions for each mile driven. As each new technology is proven within our fleet, we are committed to moving forward with further rollouts.

  • Advanced Routing Technology

    The introduction of routing software systems allows us to plan our driving routes more efficiently, thereby making the same number of stop with the use of fewer trucks and fewer miles driven.

  • Vehicle Telemetry

    We are currently evaluating vehicle telemetry, a system that uses cellular-based technology within each vehicle. This technology captures engine data and truck movement. Focusing on safety and fuel efficiency, we can reduce incidences of aggressive driving, speeding, and idling time. Preliminary results indicate that this technology may yield greater than 5% savings in fuel efficiency over baselines.

  • Vehicle Specifications

    Our vehicle specifications play an important role in fuel reduction, minimizing environmental impact. We’ve implemented several vehicle controls to minimize environmental impact.

    Speed Governors

    Speed governors are used on all vehicles. These settings typically reduce the top driving speed by 3 to 5 mph, which results in approximately 0.5 to 1 miles per gallon (mpg) in additional fuel efficiency.

    Preset Idle Times

    If a vehicle idels for 5 minutes, its preset ignition automatically shuts off the engine.

    Automated Manual Transmissions

    Automated manual transmissions are standard in on our route trucks, increasing the fuel efficiency of our straight trucks by more than 7%.

    Trailer and Truck Fairings

    Fairings deflect wind and rain, reducing drag and enhancing the aerodynamics of vehicles. Our trailer fairings improved fuel efficiency 6-8%. In 2012, we added fairing to all our long-haul trucks.

Our Sustainability Awards and Recognitions

Our Sustainability Memberships

  • Practice Greenhealth and the Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Leadership Coalition

    In 2012 we became a member Practice Greenhealth, a nonprofit organization dedicated to positive environmental stewardship within healthcare. Within Practice Greenhealth, we are part of a 15-member Coalition that assists healthcare facilities in greening their supply chains.

  • Reusable Medical Waste Tubs

    Reusable medical waste tubs are our preferred transport container. We actively encourage all our customers to consider the use of reusable disposal containers instead of corrugated boxes to minimize the amount of deforestation. Since 2006, we have specifically initiated programs that foster the use of reusable containers among those customers who generate the largest quantities of medical waste, such as hospitals and medical centers.

  • Corrugated Cardboard Recycling

    Recycling of corrugated cardboard is implemented in the majority of our regulated waste treatment facilities and is an element of our ExpertSUSTAINABILITY service, which manages unsalable products, byproducts, and nonperforming inventory.

  • Energy-Efficient Lighting

    We routinely evaluate energy efficiency throughout Stericycle, and we’ve completed lighting surveys at 55% of our facilities. Our transition to high-efficiency lighting has been completed in 14 locations, saving more than 970,000 kilowatts (kwh) of electricity annually.

  • Boiler Turndown and Tune-up

    Our boiler use programs focus on maximizing in-use efficiency and minimizing energy use during downtime. Through this initiative alone, we have seen a 13.5% reduction in the daily use of therms at sites that have completed implementation.

  • Energy-Efficient Electric Forklift Leases

    Instead of diesel or propane powered lifts, electric forklifts are required for all new leases. Besides being energy-efficient, electric forklifts eliminate the fumes and air emissions in our plants. We have already placed 13 electric forklifts into service.

  • Emission Control Systems

    Use of the latest emission control systems is essential to our commitment to clean air standards. All our plants meet or exceed state and local standards for air emissions. Our plant teams carefully and constantly monitor air quality. As new technology becomes available, we’ll continue to evaluate these enhancements.

Transportation Operations Sustainability

  • Hybrid Vehicles

    We introduced hybrids as test vehicles within Stericycle during 2010 and 2011. We are now evaluating their overall fuel performance and reliability to ensure overall higher fuel efficiency.

  • Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Vehicles

    We introduced CNG vehicles into our fleet during 2012. Compared to diesel fuel, CNG burns cleaner and generates less carbon emissions for each mile driven. As each new technology is proven within our fleet, we are committed to moving forward with further rollouts.

  • Advanced Routing Technology

    The introduction of routing software systems allows us to plan our driving routes more efficiently, thereby making the same number of stop with the use of fewer trucks and fewer miles driven.

  • Vehicle Telemetry

    We are currently evaluating vehicle telemetry, a system that uses cellular-based technology within each vehicle. This technology captures engine data and truck movement. Focusing on safety and fuel efficiency, we can reduce incidences of aggressive driving, speeding, and idling time. Preliminary results indicate that this technology may yield greater than 5% savings in fuel efficiency over baselines.

  • Vehicle Specifications

    Our vehicle specifications play an important role in fuel reduction, minimizing environmental impact. We’ve implemented several vehicle controls to minimize environmental impact.

    Speed Governors

    Speed governors are used on all vehicles. These settings typically reduce the top driving speed by 3 to 5 mph, which results in approximately 0.5 to 1 miles per gallon (mpg) in additional fuel efficiency.

    Preset Idle Times

    If a vehicle idels for 5 minutes, its preset ignition automatically shuts off the engine.

    Automated Manual Transmissions

    Automated manual transmissions are standard in on our route trucks, increasing the fuel efficiency of our straight trucks by more than 7%.

    Trailer and Truck Fairings

    Fairings deflect wind and rain, reducing drag and enhancing the aerodynamics of vehicles. Our trailer fairings improved fuel efficiency 6-8%. In 2012, we added fairing to all our long-haul trucks.

Our Sustainability Awards and Recognitions

Our Sustainability Memberships

  • Practice Greenhealth and the Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Leadership Coalition

    In 2012 we became a member Practice Greenhealth, a nonprofit organization dedicated to positive environmental stewardship within healthcare. Within Practice Greenhealth, we are part of a 15-member Coalition that assists healthcare facilities in greening their supply chains.