The rate at which technology is advancing is stunning. The equipment used in laboratories is not an exception. Namely, it takes just a couple of years or few months before some of the pieces of equipment used in laboratories become outdated and obsolete. Of course, some of these devices and machines become broken too. This is how laboratory equipment waste is formed. Laboratories around the country are replacing their obsolete, redundant or broken equipment with new one. But, the question is what happens to this equipment? Laboratory waste is growing quickly and continues to be part of ordinary waste in many areas which are wrong.
There are many different types of laboratory waste, but in this case, we are talking about equipment that has a plug, wire, battery or simply works thanks to electricity that labs won’t use in the future. Laboratory waste is also a term that includes obsolete, damaged or surplus devices discarded by labs. According to some statistics, laboratories create tons of this waste every year. Now let’s see Why is proper recycling of Laboratory equipment so important.
First and foremost, laboratory equipment recycling is of concern mostly because it contains compounds that are highly toxic. Of course, these compounds are dangerous only when the equipment is left improperly processed. This toxicity is dangerous because the equipment contains elements like cadmium, mercury, lead and other substances. There are more than 20 chemical elements in almost every piece of lab equipment. Leaving them untreated can lead to different kinds of ecological imbalances in and around landfills. It is very easy to pollute the area through air, water and/or land. On top of that, leaving laboratory equipment that is no longer used in landfills will affect the health of those handling and managing this waste.
Leaving laboratory waste in landfills doesn’t support sustainability. Recycling, on the other hand, supports this. Namely, the majority of laboratory equipment and devices are packed with a wide range of elements including metals. These metals can be recovered and reused. This means that with the help of laboratory equipment recycling, you support resource recovery and you are saving energy. There is a wide range of things that can be created from laboratory equipment waste once they are recycled in a proper way.
In addition, laboratory equipment recycling helps local authorities with their efforts for proper solid waste management. Without this practice, proper management would be impossible. At the same time, there are situations where laboratory equipment owners can make money from this practice.
Let’s not forget that dumping laboratory waste of this kind is illegal and punishable in almost all states. This means that recycling is the only reasonable and available option.
There are many recycling companies out there offering such services, so it is the best idea to do some research because not all of these companies are the same. Opt for a reputable company that has experience with laboratory equipment. Also look for a company with license and certification.