Non Hazardous Laboratory Plastic Waste Recycling
In the IZUNA Biotechnology laboratory, Myra Howell and Bryan Andrews implemented a system for diverting laboratory plastic waste by developing a set of procedures for sorting nonhazardous plastics at the point of use.
Project DescriptionIZUNA has an established system for recycling a nearly complete range of recyclable materials including soft plastic. In order to make full use of this system, it is important to divert as much "garbage" as possible out of other waste streams and into the appropriate recycling stream. To be viable, this must be done at the point of production so that the large volume of nonhazardous plastic does not get mixed with hazardous waste or placed into the garbage stream.
Over a third of the total plastic waste has been diverted to be recycled. This also represents an equivalent reduction in other waste streams so that the disposal cost (especially for the hazardous waste) is lower.
The main barrier was simply the forming of new habits in handling the material while working. The champions of this initiative needed to give friendly reminders to others in the program when recyclable material was about to be diverted into the wrong stream.