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The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 73.41
Liaison Fletcher Alexander
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

California State University, Chico
OP-21: Hazardous Waste Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Marvin Pratt
Environmental Health and Safety
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have strategies in place to safely dispose of all hazardous, special (e.g. coal ash), universal, and non-regulated chemical waste and seek to minimize the presence of these materials on campus?:

A brief description of steps taken to reduce hazardous, special (e.g. coal ash), universal, and non-regulated chemical waste:

CSU Chico employs a holistic approach to hazardous & universal waste minimization as well as reducing the hazards of the materials in use whenever possible.

The Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) department encourages purchasing only what is needed for the short term and avoiding the notion of buying in bulk as a cost-saving policy when it comes to chemical purchases. It is all too common for someone to get a "great deal" by buying larger quantities of chemical products and ignoring the resultant risk of having large quantities on hand and the eventual cost of shipping any unwanted and unused chemicals as a hazardous waste.

If unwanted and unused chemicals do surface, the EHS department tries to match up the unwanted chemicals from one department with another department that could use them. This happens with laboratory chemicals as well as maintenance products.
Paints are one of our most successful reuse items. Unwanted paints are offered for reuse to both our Fine Art department as well as our Scene Shop in the Performing Arts department to make backdrops for stage performances. The next preferred option is to donate unwanted but still usable latex paint to the local Butte County Sheriff's Team of Active Retired Seniors' (STARS) anti-graffiti program. Our next best option is to ship unwanted latex paint for recycling instead of managing it as a hazardous waste as would otherwise be the case in California.

Product substitution is an important tool CSU Chico employs whenever possible. We continually seek out opportunities to replace hazardous chemical products with alternatives that work as well but pose fewer hazards to the individual user and to the environment. This is most commonly applied to cleaning and maintenance products including pesticides.

A brief description of how the institution safely disposes of hazardous, universal, and non-regulated chemical waste:

All regulated waste is managed through the Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) department. Campus users notify EHS and request a waste pickup periodically. EHS moves those wastes to a central accumulation area. At least every 90 days EHS ships chemical waste offsite with registered hazardous waste haulers.

A brief description of any significant hazardous material release incidents during the previous three years, including volume, impact and response/remediation:


A brief description of any inventory system employed by the institution to facilitate the reuse or redistribution of laboratory chemicals:

The Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) department is notified of unused, unwanted chemical products that might be of use to other departments. If those products are still in original manufacturer’s packaging and the labeling is intact, then, depending on shelf life limitations, those chemicals will be offered to other stockrooms on campus for potential reuse. EHS plays the role of intermediary in these transfers due to their campus-wide knowledge of what chemicals are used in which labs.

This program of reuse on campus extends beyond laboratory chemicals to include any unused chemical products (paints, cleaners, batteries, etc.) which would otherwise be considered a hazardous waste.

Does the institution have or participate in a program to responsibly recycle, reuse, and/or refurbish electronic waste generated by the institution?:

Does the institution have or participate in a program to responsibly recycle, reuse, and/or refurbish electronic waste generated by students?:

A brief description of the electronic waste recycling program(s), including information about how electronic waste generated by the institution and/or students is recycled:

Management practices for electronic wastes on campus are similar to chemical waste – individual departments that generate electronic wastes contact the Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) department to request removal of the waste. EHS moves the waste to a central accumulation point and handles the waste shipment, documentation, and record keeping.

Is the institution’s electronic waste recycler certified under the e-Stewards and/or Responsible Recycling (R2) standards?:

Electronic waste recycled or otherwise diverted from the landfill or incinerator during the most recent year for which data is available during the previous three years:
19.12 Tons

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.