UBC’s commitment to sustainability includes the goal of achieving zero waste.

Non-hazardous laboratory waste streams including plastic, soil, glass and animal bedding account for over 10% of UBCs landfill waste. Currently, about 54% of UBC operational, construction and demolition waste is diverted from landfill. Help us create a zero waste campus; use recycling stations to sort your food scraps and recyclables and participate in lab recycling programs.  

Solutions for common laboratory waste streams

Lab Plastics: Many non-hazardous plastic containers can be recycled through the Lab Plastic Recycling Program.

Styrofoam Packaging: Styrofoam collection is available at select locations on campus where generation of Styrofoam waste is significant. Visit UBC Building Operations’ Styrofoam and Soft Plastics Recycling Pick-Up Program for more information and to enroll in the program.

Soft Plastics: UBC Building Operations runs a soft plastic collection program and has various pick-up locations across campus. Visit UBC Building Operations’ Styrofoam and Soft Plastics Recycling Pick-Up Program page for more information and to begin participating in the program.

Plants & Soil: Experimental plants and soil can be recycled in accordance with Safety & Risk Services requirements for collection and autoclaving. It is then reused as soil or fill for landscaping on campus. Contact Green Labs if you are interested in setting up plant & soil recycling for your lab.

Glass Bottles: Recycling for amber glass bottles is available in select buildings and changing on an ongoing basis. Check with Green Labs to find out about the options available for your lab.

  • All other laboratory glass must be decontaminated and sent to the landfill for disposal following Safety & Risk Services Hazardous Waste Disposal Procedures. Avoid unnecessary waste by participating in Solvent Dispensing from the Chemistry Stores to refill old containers of common solvents.

Hazardous Waste: Refer to Safety & Risk Services Hazardous Waste Disposal Guide and incorporate as many of the best management practices for pollution prevention and waste minimization as possible into your lab routine.

Wonder what else goes where?

Search for items and learn about everything that can be recycled or composted on campus with the A-Z Recyclepedia and review the Sorting Guide

Don’t forget that eliminating waste from the landfill starts with smart purchasing. Get lab tips for purchasing green products from the Green Labs Purchasing Guide.