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Green Labs Pilot Programs

Lomi Tabletop Composter Project

Lomi Signage Information
What is a Lomi? Credit: Tasha Cammidge

Lomi - 3rd Floor Chen
Lomi Third Floor Chen Credit: Tasha Cammidge

Lomi Signage
Lomi Signage Credit: Tasha Cammidge

Did you notice our Lomi tabletop composters in the Chen kitchen areas?

Green Labs has deployed it's first Pilot Program! We have installed Lomi tabletop composters in the three Chen kitchen areas in an effort to tackle food waste at Caltech. We will collect data from April to December on the usage of these devices to encourage adoption of sustainable lunchtime practices for labs in BBE. In just a few hours per run, these Lomi composters transform our food waste into usable compost dirt that our gardeners are able to use to fertilize the lovely gardens here at Caltech!

Lomi Compost Dirt
Lomi composters placed in the Chen kitchen areas have converted 200 Liters (53 gallons!) of food waste into compost dirt that has been diverted to the Caltech Gardens. Credit: Tasha Cammidge

Our plan: The composters are going to be run by Green Labs colleagues every morning from ~6 am – 10 am to make useable compost dirt from now until December. If the composters are full or running, we will have small compost bins available beside the Lomi for people to add their food scraps to. Signs indicating what can and cannot go into our composters are posted near the garbage cans and near each Lomi. We will be collecting data to show just how much food waste we are producing, and how valuable this food waste can be if diverted correctly. We hope to use this data to encourage Caltech to adopt more sustainable practices and invest more heavily in composting programs on campus.

We eventually want to make the machines available to "borrow" for large events (coming soon!), so if you have an event you'd like to borrow one for, please let us know and we will try to make it available!

Update: In the first months of the program we have diverted about 60 gallons (227 liters) of food waste! The Lomi composters have reduced that food waste to about 12 gallons of dirt that the Caltech Gardens are using to fertilize the wonderful campus grounds.

Here is more information on Lomi composters.

Here is the Lomi Manual.

TipOne Pipette Tip Box Recycling Project

Pipette Tip Box Recycling Map
Pipette Tip Box Recycling Map Credit: Tasha Cammidge

Pipette Tip Box Recycling Box
Credit: Tasha Cammidge

Pipette Tip Box Recycling Signage
Pipette Tip Box Recycling Signage Credit: Tasha Cammidge

Have you noticed new tip box recycling points near the mail boxes (or auditoriums *) in Alles, BI, Braun, Broad (*), and Chen?

Green Labs has partnered with USA Scientific to implement a pilot recycling program for pipette tip boxes and wafers from TipOne! NO PIPETTE TIPS PLEASE

Please deposit ONLY your TipOne tip boxes and wafers here, and USA Scientific will either redistribute these plastics to other labs in need, or will recycle these wafers and boxes within their company. In this way, USA Scientific is making the end-of-life waste challenges of their own products a priority, thus closing the loop, and making our labs more sustainable!

Pipette tip box recycling
In the first month, Green Labs has diverted 600 Liters (180 gallons!) of plastic waste that would have otherwise not been recycled. Credit: Trinity Dorger

Our plan: Our current recycling vendor does not accept these kinds of plastics, so they are currently being diverted to the landfill. As such, Green Labs wants to collect information during the next few months on the volume of tip boxes, wafers, etc, that Caltech BBE labs are "wasting". Then, we can see if other vendors are interested in starting recycling programs on campus, OR if there is a better solution to deal with the volume of plastics (for example: a plastic chipper).

Contact Trinity Dorger from USA Scientific when the bins are full, so she can pick up our recycling bins and redistribute or recycle the pipette tip containers.

Update: Since May we have diverted over 105 gallons (400 liters) of plastic waste that would have otherwise not been recycled!

Here is more information on USA Scientific's sustainable pipette tip lineup.

Here is more information on the work USA Scientific is doing to make their pipette tip boxes more sustainable.

Do you have a pilot project you would like us to pursue?

Fill out the form below or fill out an application form. (Submissions officially open in June 2023.)