To reduce the amount of waste generated, our global locations focus on improving recycling programs and increasing employee awareness about minimizing waste. This includes segregating materials for recycling, composting and encouraging reuse by providing metal utensils in cafeterias and kitchenettes. Employees have championed “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” and we saw recycling increase by 13% in 2018. Recent waste reduction efforts include:
- Expanding the recycling of nitrile gloves and protective garments through the RIGHTCYCLE program in Madison, WI, and San Luis Obispo, CA, diverted 3.6 metric tons of waste from landfills last year. These efforts to reduce solid waste garnered Promega recognition by Kimberly-Clark Professional and we received the 2018 Chelsea Santucci Greenovation Award.
- Segregating plastic shrink wrap, banding and bottles for recycling from our shipping and dispensing areas across the Madison, WI campus started in 2017 and expanded in 2018. This effort diverted over 16 tons of plastic in the last year.
- Recycling pipette tip boxes since 2010 has diverted more than 2 tons of plastic from landfills each year. Some tip boxes have been provided to local artists.
- Implementing an end-of-use instrumentation and electronics recycling program in North America, an expansion of the European programs that comply with the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive.
- Composting programs started by employees in Madison, WI and San Luis Obispo, CA divert organic waste and support our employees’ passion for gardening.
- Collecting over 20 pallets worth of materials during an annual electronics recycling drive at our Promega Madison Earth Day celebration, the most successful employee recycling drive to date.
- Replacing plastic cups with glass containers was part of efforts by branches in Switzerland and Germany to reduce plastic consumption. Promega Germany and our European Hub also provided reusable bottles to employees that supported ocean cleanup efforts.
Managing Hazardous and Infectious Wastes
In the biotech industry, manufacturing processes can require use of potentially hazardous substances, obliging us to reduce waste and ensure its proper disposal. In the last year hazardous waste reduced by 15% as indexed to revenue.