UBC Graduate Research

Laboratory Equipment Reuse Roadmap Meenaksi Sundaram, Raghavi; Singara Veloo, Kanageswari; Kumaran, Varshaa; Massicotte, Marc; Joy, Erik

Abstract

UBC Sustainability has always played an important role in accelerating UBC’s Green initiatives. SEEDS (Social Ecological Economic Development Studies) program is an experiential learning platform coordinating students, staff, faculty, and industries across Canada and worldwide, focussing on social, ecological, and environmental problems. As a part of SEEDS initiative and collaboration with CHBE 573 Environmental engineering and Sustainability Leadership course, the “Laboratory Equipment reuse road map” project is presented. An estimated 3200 tonnes of solid waste is sent to landfill annually and a significant portion of it comprises of waste from laboratories. The high-level motivation of this project is to reduce the solid waste going into landfills and upcycle them into the laboratory cycle. In 2019, drawing inspiration from similar motives to reduce solids going into the landfills, the Office equipment reuse program was launched and it had significant contributions towards CAP 2020. This “Laboratory Equipment reuse road map” project similarly focuses on reusing Surplus/Unused Lab equipment. This report summarises the flow and key findings of the project focusing on the background. scope of the study, the methodology used, case studies, results, and finally our main conclusion. The team carefully curated a survey focusing on the needs of the client and stakeholders compliance by asking questions about current disposal practices of surplus lab equipment, acceptance and expectations of the new “Reuse-it!” program for stakeholders, and by identifying potential barriers and challenges for buying and selling used equipment at UBC. To understand the dynamics of the logistics and operations we looked at two universities where current reuse practices exist. The case studies conducted at the University of Michigan and Columbia University yielded insights into the adaptation of an equipment reuse program inside an institution. Many recommendations and alternative conclusions were drawn and they are briefly described in this report. This report also discusses strategies for continuous stakeholder engagement inside UBC as a part of its recommendations. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

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