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Office Recycling

Brookhaven Lab has a longstanding and robust recycling program. All staff members and guests are required to recycle common office materials such as paper, plastic, metal and toner cartridges to save money, energy, and natural resources.

Brookhaven Lab has been recycling mixed paper for more than 20 years. Mixed paper is a term that includes office copy paper, newspaper, catalogs, envelopes, file folders, books, post-its, and junk mail, among other paper products which are collected from employees weekly. We also recycle cans, plastic containers, and clean aluminum foil as well as corrugated cardboard, office electronics, and printer/toner cartridges.

The Lab encourages every person on site to recycle! Recycling conserves natural resources, and energy, reduces wastes going to landfills and saves the Lab money in avoided disposal costs. Approximately $300,000 in annual savings has been generated as income from recyclables, as cost avoidance from reusing materials and avoiding paying to send the materials off-site as waste.

recycling poster

Bottles, Cans, and Plastic

In the past ten years, the Lab has recycled a total of 178 tons of bottles, cans, and plastic. During fiscal year 2019, the Lab recycled an additional 11 tons of these materials. Remember, #1 and #2 plastic containers may be recycled after cleaning. All food & beverage recyclables, along with used aluminum foil, must be rinsed before being placed in the appropriate recycling container.

All plastic and metal recyclable food and beverage containers should be placed in the yellow recycling containers located in kitchens, lunchrooms, and other eating areas in your building. Glass containers should be disposed of in the trash. 

Did you know? 95% less energy is required to produce a recycled aluminum can than manufacturing a new one from raw materials.

Mixed Paper

Brookhaven Lab has been recycling mixed paper and cardboard for more than two decades. In the past ten fiscal years, the Lab recycled a total of 2,234 tons of mixed paper and cardboard — an average of 223 tons per year.

Everyone deals with paper. Mixed paper includes not just office paper but newspapers, catalogs, envelopes, and junk mail — and the list goes on. Mixed paper must be placed in the blue recycling containers, which are emptied every Tuesday by the Production Services custodians. Corrugated cardboard in collected separately and also picked up by custodial staff.

Think about this: for an estimated employee population of 2,500 employees, if each person recycled six sheets of paper a day for one week that would be 84,000 sheets of paper. This amount of paper weighs about 150 pounds. Spread the word and do your part.

What we recycled between 2009 and 2018

recycled paper

Mixed Paper

recycled bottles

Bottles, Cans, and Plastic

recycled cardboard


recycled toner

Toner Cartridges