Ever wonder what happens to all of that lab plastic?
Let's face it: labs generate a lot of waste.
Do you know where your waste goes? It ends up in our local landfill and will take hundreds of years to decompose. We can help keep our local community healthy by reducing the waste we generate in our labs.
One way to reduce the carbon footprint of your lab is to divert waste from landfills or hazardous waste streams. Plastic labware is one of the top waste streams from research labs (especially biomedical labs). Often these plastics, which can be recycled, are disposed of in the regular trash or in the biohazardous waste stream. Much of this volume of waste can be recycled, thereby cutting down on the environmental impact of your research.
The Lab Recycling Initiative is our first step to decreasing lab waste. We now have a mechanism to recycle #5 plastic from labs. Pipet tip boxes and plastic conical tube racks are made from #5 plastic. See below for details.
We hope to expand this initiative in the near future to include other (#1, #2) lab plastics. Please stay tuned!
What is the Lab Recycling Initiative?
How it works:
Our role: We will provide your lab in Vail/Remsen with an yellow collection bin and instructions. The custodians
will pick up the recycling for pickup by Dartmouth Recycles.
Your role: You will decontaminate your pipet tip boxes, tip wafers, or conical tube racks with 70% ethanol or a
fresh 10% bleach solution (as appropriate) before disposal. You will be sure to ONLY collect #5 PP plastics.
Most (if not all) pipet tip boxes will be made of this material. This is a single waste recycling stream, so it is
very important not to mix other types (#1-4, #6-7) of plastic in this bin. The #5 recycling symbol is stamped on
the plastic (usually on the bottom) - so it is easy to check!
If you have any questions about the decontamination process, please contact the Biosafety Officer/Lab