There are many ways to get involved with sustainability efforts at the Marine Biological Laboratory. Whether you are a graduate or undergraduate student, faculty, or staff member, your actions can make a difference.

Look for ways to make sustainable actions a part of your daily routine, such as recycling, drinking from a reusable bottle or mug, shutting off lights, shortening showers, printing double-sided, and using eco-friendly products.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Reducing waste is the first step in controlling our environmental impact. When you reduce the amount of materials you individually waste, you decrease the total waste produced by the entire campus. This means that there is less to Reuse, Recycle, send to landfills, or incinerate which creates air pollution. Your impact directly affects what is purchased and discarded by MBL. Therefore, the less you consume, the less MBL will purchase. Reducing also means that you keep the environment in mind when doing personal shopping. You can look for goods packaged in recycled or recyclable materials and also consider whether you actually need the item. The longer a product lasts, the less frequently replacements are needed, reducing overall waste.

» Fact: The average American throws away 3.5 pounds of trash a day.

Although recycling is a desirable way to dispose of used and unwanted materials, waste prevention is a superior solution. Waste prevention saves both energy and money.

Reusing is a simple way to decrease your environmental impact; it takes no extra time, just conscience action. The more you reuse products and materials, the less waste gets put into landfills where it will sit for thousands of years! While buying less is the easiest way to reduce what we use, reusing allows us to extend the life of items that have already been purchased.

» Fact: The reuse of one ton of paper saves enough energy to heat the average home for six months, saves 7,000 gallons of water, 380 gallons of oil, and 3 cubic yards of landfill space.

In the hierarchy of waste management, recycling is certainly not on top. Having less waste to begin with is clearly the first priority, but how we deal with the waste that we do create is also very important. Recycling saves energy and other natural resources, which are becoming scarcer every day. It takes a great deal of both local and individual efforts to institute recycling effectively and efficiently. It needs to be available


We operate on a single-stream recycling system, this means all clean recyclable items can be dropped into any recycling bin on campus or in the dorms. No need to sort them! Please refer to the MBL Recycling Guidelines.

Recycling Tips

  • Small blue recycle bins should be placed at each desk throughout the Institution. If you need a desk-side bin, please contact the Environmental Service Team (
  • Each building will have an appropriate number of larger recycle bins for use in collection by the cleaning staff, or to handle larger items. Look for recycling bins marked "Single Stream Recycling".
  • There will also be larger bins placed in strategic, centralized locations to handle non-recyclable trash.
  • To recycle packing material such as peanuts, styrofoam, and boxes, contact the Shipping and Receiving Department at x7326.
  • To recycle equipment that is no longer needed, contact the Apparatus Department at x7227.
  • To pick up Hazardous Waste, contact the Environmental Health and Safety Department at x7424.
  • Batteries and Fluorescent Tubes and may be recycled at the Universal Waste Collection Areas located in the Lillie basement across from the Mail Room.

E-Waste Recycling

Used computers, monitors and other electronic equipment that are disposed of improperly have the potential to contaminate our environment, and prematurely fill our existing landfills. Recycling or processing e-waste to extract the minerals trapped inside and reusing the rest of the components is a practical solution to solve the hazard of e-waste.

Drop-Off Locations:

  • Lillie 8C Laboratory Operations (Lillie Basement)
recycling poster