We might not realize it, but the lab can produce a lot of waste that could have otherwise been avoided by taking a couple of extra steps or precautionary measures. At REUZEit, we have a Landfill Last mantra and do our due diligence to reduce waste by reselling used lab equipment that would otherwise have ended up as trash. Today we’re going to be talking about what else you can do to reduce waste in the lab and reduce waste that goes into our landfills.
Take inventory of Your Waste
Taking inventory of your waste can be an eye-opening experience. According to a waste management audit at the University of Washington, lab gloves can account for around 23% of the total lab waste that needs to be disposed of. However, many of the gloves that are used and thrown away are not contaminated and could easily be recycled. Take note of the items that are thrown away on a daily basis that could be disposed of in a more sustainable way.
After taking inventory of your waste, you can determine if this waste can be REUZEd. Are there boxes laying around that could be repurposed for packing and shipping? Is there equipment that is no longer being used that could be donated? Can you hold on to freezer packs for shipping temperature-sensitive items? REUZE-ing waste is all part of prolonging the life cycle of an item and contributing to a circular economy.
Having recycling bins in a lab is the easiest way to encourage recycling waste products. Place them outside the lab with recycling posters that guide lab personnel on best practices. Items in the lab that can be recycled include uncontaminated materials such as gloves, packaging, glass, and plastics. You can also use resources like Kimberly Clark, Terracycle, and Medline which offer glove recycling programs. Corning also offers flexible package recycling programs.
Reduce waste in the lab by only ordering and using exactly what you need. Talk to your colleagues to figure out what is the best way to go about reducing waste in the lab. Perhaps consolidating packaging by having shipments arrive later once they’re able to fill cargo more efficiently. To help you identify products that will cut down on waste, check out the My Green Lab ACT label database!
Many plastics cannot be recycled unless they’ve been decontaminated. Having a process for decontamination can help more items get recycled. This process can be lengthy, costly, or time-consuming. For this reason, it’s important to do some research on exactly what is needed to maintain this operation.
REUZEit: The All-in-One Solution for Used and Surplus Lab Equipment
Investing in laboratory equipment for your scientific research is a necessary cost, and we’re committed to providing you with options that you can fit into your budget. Money saved on one product can be used to finance another resource that is just as important to your progress. Whether you’re searching for innovative chemistry lab equipment or looking to replace broken lab equipment, REUZEit offers low-cost solutions that work as hard as you do. Browse the best surplus and gently used biotech and pharmaceutical equipment on the market! Check out our USA-based store or our European-based store to shop discount laboratory equipment.