Green Labs

 

Green Labs Supports More Sustainable Labs at UT Austin

The Green Labs initiative was established in fall 2011 at The University of Texas at Austin. The purpose of Green Labs is to help labs use less hazardous materials in terms of toxicity and quantity; use water and energy efficient equipment; recycle and reuse materials; use equipment in energy and water efficient ways; and control inventory. There are numerous benefits of employing green or sustainable practices in labs including reducing energy and water-related costs, increasing safety through the use of smaller chemical quantities, and enjoying longer-lasting lab equipment through efficient use.

Become a Certified Green Lab

The Green Labs certification is a two-step process to becoming a participating green lab at UT Austin. The first step involves the completion of a self-evaluation checklist. The second part involves arranging for a Green Lab team member to conduct a brief walk-through of the lab to evaluate the major energy and water intensive equipment. Use this link to the online checklist: https://goo.gl/forms/U3T2koC41MXe2pnv1

Nearly 50 labs currently participate as certified labs on campus across eight different colleges within UT Austin.  Becoming a certified Green Lab is an easy way to help your equipment last longer, reduce the environmental impact of research, and help the university reduce its energy and water consumption.

Recycling Initiatives Available to Labs

Battery Recycling

  • All types of batteries are accepted for recycling.
  • Two collection points on campus include:
  • Student Services Building (SSB) 1.302 (Campus Environmental Center) and SSB first floor next to the pharmacy.
  • Robert Lee Moore Hall (RLM) 4th floor next to the library and the elevators.

Nitrile Glove Recycling           

UT Green Labs, in partnership with Kimberly-Clark, offers on campus recycling.

Note: only Kimberly-Clark nitrile gloves can be recycled. 

Eligibility is determined by a lab’s biosafety level (BSL) rating and through consultation with EH&S.

  • All BSL 1 labs are eligible to participate in the program.
  • BSL 2 labs must be reviewed by EH&S individually and approved to participate.
  • BSL 3 labs are not allowed to recycle their gloves due to hazardous contamination.

If you are interested in recycling your Nitrile gloves, please e-mail us with your lab room number and BSL rating (if applicable).

Styrofoam, Cold Packs, and Plastic Film Recycling

The purpose of the Styrofoam, Cold Packs, and Plastic Film recycling program is to help reduce the amount of these items that goes to landfills from research labs on campus. Styrofoam and plastic never truly breakdown and will remain in the environment forever, so it's important to recycle them.

Where to Recycle Styrofoam, Cold Packs, and Plastic Film on Main Campus

To recycle your Styrofoam, cold packs, and plastic film and receive a reminder of the collections, please e-mail us with your lab room number.

  • Collection occurs the first and third Monday of the month from 1:30 to 4:00 p.m. at the MBB loading dock in the dumpster corral.
  • Be sure to fill out the sign-in sheet when dropping off items at the docks.
  • Styrofoam must be free of labels, tape and bagged in clear plastic bags.
  • Styrofoam packing peanuts and Styrofoam food containers/cups are not allowed.
    • Styrofoam food containers/cups can be recycled with the City of Austin.
    • Styrofoam packing peanuts can be recycled through PakMail.
  • Cold packs should be defrosted, intact with no leaks, and packed in a cardboard box or Styrofoam cooler.
  • Plastic film, bubble wrap, and air cushions should be clean, dry, and bagged in clear plastic bags.
  • Clear plastic bags are located at the NHB Mail Room 1.406, BIO Mail Room 311, NMS Autoclave Room 3.322, BEL 806 & MBB Mail Room 1.206.
  • To sign up for a monthly reminder e-mail or for questions contact: utgreenlabs@gmail.com

Where to Recycle Styrofoam, Cold Packs, and Plastic Film at Pickle Research Center

To recycle your Styrofoam, cold packs, and plastic film and receive a reminder of the collections, please e-mail us with your lab room number.

  • Styrofoam, cold packs, and plastic film can be dropped off every Friday from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m., and from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Surplus Building (Building 45). The Surplus building is located at the corner of Creativity Trail and Clyde Davis Trail.
  • Be sure to fill out the sign-in sheet when dropping off Styrofoam at the docks, or email us to let us know you are contributing to our recycling program.
  • Styrofoam must be free of labels, tape and bagged in clear plastic bags.
  • Styrofoam packing peanuts and Styrofoam food containers/cups are not allowed.
    • Styrofoam food containers/cups can be recycled with the City of Austin.
    • Styrofoam packing peanuts can be recycled through PakMail.
  • Cold packs should be defrosted, intact with no leaks, and packed in a cardboard box or Styrofoam cooler.
  • Plastic film, bubble wrap, and air cushions should be clean, dry, and bagged in clear plastic bags.
  • Clear plastic bags are located at the recycling station, or we would be happy to deliver some personally upon request
  • To sign up for a monthly reminder e-mail or for questions contact: utgreenlabs@gmail.com

Learn More About Best Green Practices

Best Green Practices for energy, water and materials management can be found: https://wikis.utexas.edu/display/utgreenlabs/4.+Best+Green+Practices