Lab Waste

Although labs create a lot of unique waste, much of this can be reused or recycled. Recycling containers are usually located in the hallway outside your lab. See suggestions below on how you can reduce waste (and costs!) in your lab.

Want to create recycling signs that highlight specific waste items and bin locations for your lab? Make your own custom waste labels by replacing the pictures in these templates with common items from your lab. 

Equipment and Supplies: Post excess assets on Stanford’s REUSE web portal, which allows departments to transfer excess equipment between each other. Check the portal before buying any new lab materials. Non-functioning equipment can be disposed of through Stanford Surplus Property Sales or twice a year at Campus Cleanup

E-waste: Environmental Health and Safety provides over 150 locations across campus for recycling of small electronic devices. Click here to view a list of locations.

Batteries: Environmental Health and Safety provides over 200 locations across campus for battery recycling. Click here to view a list of locations.

Chemicals: Environmental Health and Safety provides guidance on proper disposal of chemicals and hazardous waste. Unused chemicals can be donated to Stanford's Surplus Chemical Program.

Styrofoam:  Expanded polystyrene (aka Styrofoam) is a very difficult material to recycle and cannot be disposed of in Stanford’s regular recycling bins for plastics, metal and glass. However, many times it can be reused by packaging and shipping stores. Call 1-800-828-2214 to find a location near you or drop it off at your nearest UPS store. You can also drop it off at Stanford's biannual Campus Cleanup.

Plastic Film: Soft plastic film packaging should also be recycled in the paper bin.

Paper Waste Examples

Containers: Most clean containers can be recycled in the plastics, metal, and glass recycling bin. To determine if a container is clean enough to be recycled, follow Environmental Health and Safety’s decision tree.

Pipette Trays: Peninsula Sanitary Service, Inc. (PSSI), Stanford’s waste management service, will pick up your pipette trays for recycling. Contact PSSI to arrange a pick up.

Cardboard: Cardboard boxes should be recycled in the corrugated cardboard only bin. These are large bins located outside the building in the dumpster enclosures.

Cardboard waste examples