From glassware and chemicals, to furniture and electrical equipment, laboratory items impose some form of impact on the environment through their manufacture, use, and disposal.

The Sustainability Waste Guide uses an A-Z system to easily locate waste types and provides details on proper sustainable disposal when an item cannot be reused.


  1. Before considering purchasing new equipment check the Reuse@Leeds:Labs system.
  2. Ensure that your equipment is serviced on a routine basis to ensure optimum running efficiency and longevity.
  3. If buying new equipment is unavoidable, make energy efficient purchasing choices, assess whole life costing of the new equipment, and take into account the space it will occupy in your lab.
  4. Green Chemistry: The Green Chemistry Wizard is an online database developed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It provides safe, sustainable alternatives to hazardous chemicals or processes. More information can be found in the Royal Society of Chemistry’s ‘Journal of Green Chemistry‘.
  5. The SIN List (Substitute It Now!) is a global database of chemicals likely to be banned or restricted in the near future.

Procurement contacts

Sustainable Procurement Guide – by Cohen Geochemistry Labs


Sharing equipment that is no longer of use in one lab facility, but could be of use in another in the building or across campus not only saves money, but also energy, raw materials and precious time, of which could be put back into research.

Reuse@Leeds is our sector-leading internal re-distribution system. Since its launch in 2010, this system has saved the University over £500k. Reuse@Leeds:Labs – allows lab users to access the popular reuse site to share items such as equipment or glassware they no longer have use for.



The University has a commitment of delivering zero waste to landfill.

Does your team know what can and can not be recycled in your lab facilities?
Are there enough recycle bins in your area, and are they labeled properly?

Get in touch for more information.

Healthcare and Offensive Waste

Of course, not all waste can be recycled and laboratory waste classified as ‘healthcare and offensive’ such as;

  • Infectious waste
  • Laboratory cultures
  • Anatomical waste
  • Sharps waste
  • Medicinal waste
  • Laboratory chemicals
  • Offensive/hygiene wastes from wards or other healthcare areas

must be disposed of in the correct waste stream in accordance to university policy.

Information on what waste goes where can be found on the University of Leeds ‘Laboratory Waste Health and Safety‘ pages and the guidance documents below.