Talkin' Trash With UHN

Freerange, organic, green healthcare ideas

Ed Rubinstein

All About Ed in just 15 Questions…

(Scroll down for a more formal version)

What did you study, and where did you work before ending up here?

Studied chemistry in university – which probably has something to do with why I ended up working in environmental management. Moved on to more schooling in Forestry and then to a job cleaning up gas spills and leaks.

What is the part of your work that’s most misunderstood?

The job is more than just recycling and turning off the lights – it’s about championing change and creating a green culture.

What’s the thing about your job that drives you crazy?

Only one thing?

What keeps you going and motivated to do this work?

The children…think of the children.

Can you describe a typical day?

I wish – there are meetings, data to crunch, reports to write, presentations to give, training to set-up, technology to investigate, bills to pay…and then it’s time for lunch.

Mountain bike or cruiser?

Mountain bike, of course.

What do you read/watch/listen to in order to stay current in your field?

About 100 emails a day – from green news services to staff members letting me know what works or doesn’t work.

What are you most proud of in your career?

It’s the positive way that people have responded to greening at UHN…and that every once in a while they take the time to say “thank you”

Any advice for someone who wants to do this type of work?

It’s definitely a job for someone with a passion for this…

Do you ever just want to walk away from it?

Will my boss be reading this?

If you were in charge of the world for 24 hours, what would you do?

If I were the king of the world, tell you what I’d do. I’d throw away the cars and the bars and the wars, and make sweet…hey, isn’t this a family-rated blog?

Would you rather be invisible or be able to fly?


If you weren’t doing this job, what would you be doing?

Something with chemicals…or still cleaning up gas spills.

What do you do in your spare time (do you have spare time)?

The children…think of the children…family is so important…and so much fun!

Anything else you want to add?

Last out, please remember to turn off the lights…

The More Formal Version…

Ed Rubinstein is the University Health Network’s Director of Environmental Compliance, Risk and Sustainability. He’s been leading the hospital’s many environment programs since 1999 and has helped UHN become a leader in environmental sustainability in health care.

Both UHN and Ed’s leadership in the field of “greening health care” have been acknowledged with several awards, including from the Ontario Hospital Association, Canadian College of Health Leaders, Natural Resources Canada, Practice Greenhealth, the Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care and the Canadian Council of Ministers for the Environment; Ed was recognized as one of “Canada’s Clean 16” in 2018.

7 thoughts on “Ed Rubinstein

  1. Ed, I am a housekeeper in TGH and have a question.
    It’s about “Take-Out containers”, the one with the black base where the food is and the lid which is transparent. At home black part is garbage and clear part is recycle. Is it the same at TGH?


  2. Hi Harish – good question because, as you know, the recycling “rules” at UHN are slightly different than those we have at home. Because things change, the best thing to do is visit the Energy & Environment page on the UHN intranet, or get in touch directly with Energy & Environment via

    Thanks for helping make UHN sustainable and green!


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