MBL Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

Marine Biological Laboratory
Policy No. D.2.5


Initiated by: Manager of BST&G
Approved by: MBL Director/CEO
Date : January 2, 2008
Distribution: MBL Community

The MBL’s Director/CEO initiated the formation of a RRR Committee to help the institution reduce its waste stream. The Director has designated the Manager of Building Services, Transportation and Grounds (BST&G) as the Committee chair.

1.0 Policy Statement
It is the policy of MBL to preserve our environment and provide a mechanism designed to minimize MBL’s waste stream. The MBL will provide support towards this goal as an institution; however, the success of this initiative will rely upon the efforts of the MBL community. Among these efforts are the following practices summed up as the “3 Rs” of solid waste management:

Reduce – This refers not only to waste reduction, but also source reduction. Reducing the amount of materials consumed results in reducing the amount of materials discarded.

Reuse – This could include the repair and reuse of items within the MBL as well as the donation of usable items to charity, schools, or other institutions.

Recycle – This refers to the separation of recyclable materials from the waste stream such as papers, bottles, cardboard, electronics, etc., to be sent to the appropriate facilities for processing.

2.0 Procedures
The materials currently covered by the MBL’s RRR policy can be broken down into the following categories:

• Paper
• Cardboard
• Packaging Peanuts/Bubble Wrap
• Cans and Glass
• Plastic
• Styrofoam/Ice Pack
• Printer Cartridges
• Electronics/Batteries
• Other

These items will be recycled on all of MBL’s properties without curbside recycling. The MBL’s Building Services, Transportation and Grounds Department will provide specific services for the handling and processing of each category of RRR items as outlined below:

2.1 Paper
The MBL will provide pickup of recyclable office papers on a floor by floor basis. Each floor will have a single designated collection area for the drop off of office paper to be picked up on a regular basis by the custodian on duty. The MBL will also provide one designated collection area per building (usually on the first floor) for larger quantities of recyclable paper, and items such as catalogs, newspapers etc. It will be the responsibility of the occupants of each floor to ensure that recyclable papers are brought to the proper designated areas. Chip board or thin cardboard boxes can be included with the paper for recycling.

2.2 Cardboard
The MBL will provide one designated area per building for the collection of cardboard. All cardboard boxes must be emptied of all packing materials and broken down flat. Arrangements can be made for the pick up of larger boxes and crates.

2.3 Packaging Peanuts
There will be one designated area per building (by shipping and receiving) for the collection of Styrofoam packaging peanuts and bubble wrap.

2.4 Deposit Cans and Glass
There will be one or more designated areas per building for the collection of deposit cans and glass. Tin cans (soup cans, soda cans, etc) can be recycled with plastic bottles in the designated area – containers should be emptied and rinsed before recycling.

2.5 Plastic
Plastic labeled on the bottom with can be recycled in with the cans and glass. This includes pipette boxes, but not pipettes.

2.6 Styrofoam
Currently Styrofoam is not recyclable through MBL’s RRR Program. However, pre-printed labels and information on where to send Styrofoam shipping coolers for recycling are included with coolers from some suppliers. MBL will work with our suppliers to provide these services. The MRC’s Aquatic Resource Division will reuse Styrofoam boxes, meeting the following specifications:
• Styrofoam box with intact cardboard box
• Internal size of at least 10” x 10” but not larger than 25” x 15”
• Minimum depth of 8” or maximum depth of 16”
The Aquatic Resource Division will also re-use ice packs. If you have Styrofoam containers that do not meet MRC standards, they should be left in front of the Stock Room for re-use by anyone in need.

2.7 Electronics/Batteries
The MBL will provide one designated area per building for the collection of electronics such as computers, monitors, etc. Smaller electronic items may be brought directly to the Apparatus Department. Household batteries are not recyclable through MBL’s RRR Program and should be thrown in the trash. Nickel-cadmium (NiCd), nickel metal hydride (NiMH), and button cell (lithium manganese) may be disposed of through the Stock Room.

2.8 Other Items
Contaminated laboratory waste is currently handled by the MBL Safety Office.

Inkjet and laser printer cartridges are to be returned according to the directions that are often included in new cartridges.

The MBL Grounds Crew handles the composting of grass clippings. These items can be taken home by the MBL community for composting.

Our Food Service Contractor is responsible for the composting of any food materials at the Swope Center.

3.0 Education
MBL will promote RRR by having laboratory recycling coordinators, distributing literature on the MBL RRR program, and creating an MBL RRR website for quick reference. A report will be given each year to the Director of Facilities with quantities of materials recycled.

4.0 Looking to the Future
An ongoing effort is underway at the MBL to broaden and improve our RRR policies. The MBL will look to work with its suppliers to encourage policies that reduce waste in their shipping practices, and investigate ways to work with local industry who may have a use for our recyclables. The MBL should also use its position in the community to help promote ways to improve the environment.

5.0 Policy Clarification and Updates: Policy clarification and updates are available from the Building Services, Transportation and Grounds office.