Glassware is a common waste from research laboratories. If uncontaminated, glassware can be recycled as opposed to disposed of in landfills or incinerators. During the implementation of the Chemical Tracking System (ChemTracker) at Morningside in the summer of 2006, EH&S identified an opportunity to increase laboratory glassware recycling in the Department of Chemistry. Due to the nature of some of the research in Chemistry, tons of “contaminated” glassware were managed by EH&S through the Hazardous Waste Management Program each year. This glassware was perceived as grossly contaminated and a hazardous waste incinerator was the disposal outlet of choice. ChemTracker, which served as the impetus for all laboratories to manage their chemical inventories and the resultant empty laboratory chemical containers in a consistent fashion, also enabled EH&S work with the laboratories to establish better source segregation practices at the point of generation. As a result, the tons of “contaminated” glassware traditionally handled through the Hazardous Waste Management Program were reduced and a significant volume of uncontaminated glassware was redirected for recycling.
What to do with cardboard glass recycling containers when they are full…
Uncontaminated glassware should be packaged and sealed in cardboard boxes (either boxes designed specifically for disposable glassware or other empty boxes) and left for your campus’ Facilities Operation Office to collect and deliver to the glass recycling staging area. Please visit the “Laboratory Container and Glassware Management Policy” link at: http://www.ehs.columbia.edu/DisposalMap.html for guidance.