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Since the launch of Cologuard®, Exact Sciences has made it a priority to properly dispose of the plastics we use in our clinical lab. As part of our commitment to use resources efficiently wherever possible, Exact Sciences undertook a detailed evaluation of our waste management solutions, and saw an opportunity to improve energy efficiency and odor control while reducing water consumption, the amount of waste sent to landfill, and the risk of safety incidents associated with manual lifting of waste. In May 2019, our facilities team replaced the old waste processing system with a new, larger, and more efficient waste treatment system.

The new clinical lab waste processing system is used to recycle the plastics involved in the Cologuard sample collection and testing processes. The plastic is shredded and decontaminated as it moves through the machine, and the finished material is then shipped to our recycling partner, where the plastic is separated into different types. This allows the material to be re-used to create new products.

Based on data monitoring to-date, the new system has delivered the following resource savings:

  • 55% cut in total energy use
  • 60% cut in total electricity consumption
  • 60% cut in total gas consumption
  • 90% cut in total water use

Together with our PPE recycling initiative, this on-site waste processing system allows us to recycle nearly all of the plastic waste in our Madison, WI laboratories and helps us strive for sustainable impact in our fight against cancer.

To learn more about how the clinical lab waste processing system works, watch the video below.

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