By Hayley Veal- Green Labs
After surveying the lab spaces in our project and collaborating with lab researchers, staff, and the UCLA recycling coordinator, we successfully placed all of the new recycling bins. The picture above is an example of the bins we placed in lab spaces this past week. It includes a recycling bin provided by the recycling coordinator and a lab specific recycling flyer designed by our team member, Claire.
In order to make recycling a more convenient and efficient process, we agreed that it was best to place the bins inside lab spaces. It requires less overall effort for the staff and researchers because they don’t have to leave their workspace to place an item in the recycling bin. It does require them to place the bins outside their lab each week to be picked up, but researchers and staff have communicated a positive attitude about doing this weekly. If bringing the bins outside their labs ever becomes an obstacle for their workflow, they have the choice to keep the bins outside.
Throughout this whole process of moving forward with our project, our team has tried to remain very cognizant of not placing too much burden on staff and researchers who are participating in our program because we want them to maintain efficiency, while still moving forward with increased recycling of lab materials.
In the coming weeks, we expect to gather more data about recycling practices when we receive the responses from our custodian surveys. We also just sent a survey to the staff and researchers participating in our initiative to see how effective the recycling bins have been in the past few weeks and if the placement of them is convenient for them. We look forward to their feedback! We will do another set of waste audits to see if the implementation of our initiative has diverted recyclable materials from the regular trash. We are very hopeful and excited to see if/how well our initiative is doing at diverting recyclable materials in these lab spaces.