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Integrating Resource Recovery and Waste Management in Biomedical Research

Scott E. Merkle, MS, CIH, and Richard Sloane, MS, NIEHS


From its inception in 1993, the NIEHS recycling, reuse, and reduction program has collected office paper, aluminum cans, cardboard, pallets, fluorescent tubes, and consumer glass and plastics. Since then, the program's scope has expanded to include a broader range of items including certain lab plastics, animal cage bedding, cafeteria pre-consumer waste (vermicomposting), mixed metals, "Tyvec" brand lab coats and coveralls, laboratory supplies, and much more. Over 3,000,000 pounds have been diverted from the landfills in 9.5 years.

Early in the planning process for the new EPA research facility constructed on a 134-acre portion of the campus where NIEHS is located, the NIEHS and the EPA came together to identify possible collaborative efforts in waste management. Now, as EPA occupies its new facility, the outcomes of our collaboration are being realized. These collaborative efforts include:

  • Incorporating EPA research activities and facilities into the NIEHS environmental permits for air quality and hazardous waste management.

  • The joint use of a new pathological waste incinerator equipped with state-of-the-art technologies for air emission and water effluent control.

  • Expansion of the NIEHS hazardous waste treatment and storage facility to provide for coordinated use by both agencies.


Not available at this time.

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