From glassware and chemicals, to furniture and large scale electrical equipment, laboratory items impose some form of negative impact on the environment through their manufacture, use, and eventual disposal.
The Sustainability Waste Guide 2016 uses an A-Z system to easily locate waste types and provides details on proper sustainable disposal when an item cannot be reused.
- Before considering purchasing new equipment check the Reuse@Leeds:Labs system.
- Ensure that your equipment is serviced on a routine basis to ensure optimum running efficiency and longevity.
- 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 inevitably occupy in your lab.
- 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‘.
Sharing equipment that is no longer of use in one lab facility, but could be to 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 and currently has an impressive 95% recycle rate. 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?
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 particular waste streams 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 HERE and the guidance documents below.