Lab Recycling Programs in Academia
Laboratories present unique challenges when it comes to waste reduction and diversion but the volume and types of waste they generate present tremendous opportunities to reduce environmental and public health impacts from waste disposal.
The College and University Recycling Coalition (CURC) hosts seasonal webinars for labs to exchange ideas and actions on improving the environmental impact of their space.
"Working with Polycarbin; they've been great about helping us learn where our plastics go. The plastics are made into new plastics within 80 miles of [our campus]. For a circular economy, that's as good as it can get." - Daniel Chau
Laboratories represent some of the biggest Scope 3 emission abusers on campus, with their dependence on plastic throughput for research. With the support of My Green Lab (MGL), CURC was able to host a webinar on how these carbon intensive spaces can make improvements.
"Labs know that they generate a lot of plastic and a lot of waste... there's not a whole lot that they can do about it. This has helped them know that they can conduct their research without feeling that excess guilt of producing a lot of waste." - Daniel Chau
In Opportunities for Waste Reduction and Diversion in Laboratories participants heard an engaging and novel discussion about safe and successful programs to divert waste material from labs.
- Daniel Chau, Assistant Director of Recycling and Waste Reduction Program, University of California, San Francisco (Presenter slides)
- Emily Colpack, Green Labs Coordinator, The University of Alabama at Birmingham (Presenter slides)
- Kathryn A. Ramirez-Aguilar, Ph.D., CU Green Labs Program Manager, University of Colorado Boulder (Presenter slides)