Today at Berkeley Lab

Erin Claybaugh’s on a Mission to Improve Lab’s Waste Disposal


She knows a lot about where your trash goes and is leading an initiative to divert 75 percent of the Lab’s solid waste outputs. New “Rethink Waste” bins and signs have helped, but education is key, she says. More>


  1. Good luck with the program and thanks for your efforts.
    Here are some suggestions for the next generation receptacles:
    Design the front panels to be opened so that removal of refuse is easier (now the full bags must be lifted up several feet to clear the metal holding bins),
    Round the corners of the inner plastic bins so the plastic bags don’t rip,
    Add some kind of securing device to keep the plastic bags from collapsing into the bins.

  2. Please think beyond your expensive trash bins! You want clean paper recycling? Outside our building, all non-paper recycling (plastic, glass, etc.) goes into one big bin together with recycled paper. So why do we have these multi-compartment bins. You should first think downstream, not upstream, meaning to make sure that the recycling service companies also meet your goals. This is the same mistake I have observed with the royally failed 3R program in building 90 a few years ago. This makes me wonder why we are spending our ever-increasing overhead on such programs if simpler/cheaper solutions can achieve the same goal.

  3. This is wonderful. Thanks Erin for being so proactive and putting your education and knowledge into practice to benefit our environment.

    Have your thought about the “toner”waste from all our printers and copiers here at LBNL? I just recently had Transportation pick up 15 used toners for a recycling pick up. I’m not sure what happens to these toners after they are picked up. Many people do not take the initiative or time to place the label on the outside of the toner cartridge box and seal the box for UPS shipment for recycling. Some of the toners were new but unused (probably from obsolete printers). I’m not sure what happens once these toners are picked up. This may be outside of the initiative you are working on.

    Thanks again,
    (Bldg 90)