Solvent recycling in our lab? Sounds great but can’t somebody else do it for us?
A growing trend in hospitals is for Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) to recycle solvents for the Histology laboratory.
Since EH&S is normally responsible for waste disposal, it makes sense for them to manage the recycling of used solvents. EH&S is also more likely to have underutilized space for operating a solvent recycler. They will often place a solvent recycler in a basement, loading dock or out building.
A good example of this is University of Washington Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) department who has been recycling xylene from the Histology/Pathology labs since 1993.
EH&S for the University took the initiative to move Histology solvent recycling from a good idea to a great reality. And everybody is happy they did.
Each year, they recycle 1000 gallons (3785 liters) of xylene with a savings of $40 000 USD in purchase costs and $1500 in disposal costs. Since 1993 they have saved a total of $913 000 USD by recycling 22 000 gallons (83250 liters) of xylene!
The environmental impact is just as impressive. Recycling has kept 285 940 lbs (129 712 kg) of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere from incineration of the waste solvent. That’s a lot of CO2
One can only imagine the many programs at the university that were funded with the nearly one million dollars in savings from solvent recycling.
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