|Submission Date||March 2, 2017|
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Department of Environmental Health and Safety
The following guidelines are provided to employees for hazardous waste minimization. This requires active thought and preparation as chemicals are purchased and used:
Inventory your chemicals: The most important step you can take toward waste minimization is to know what you currently have and use by maintaining a running inventory of chemicals in your work place. An inventory is also an invaluable tool in emergency situations. Not only is this a good idea, but a chemical inventory is required under the hazard communication standard.
Check your current inventory before ordering to avoid unnecessary purchases!
Note the date a container is acquired or opened on the container.
Use older chemicals before purchasing or opening new bottles to reduce the amount of product wasted because a chemical has passed its expiration date.
Order only what you need: Buy what you will use in a reasonable time period. Buying in bulk rarely saves money when you consider disposal costs of unused material.
Testing a new experiment and not sure what you need? Start small. Purchase small amounts to perform trials of a new procedure.
It may also be possible to borrow small amounts of chemicals from other labs. Please take the time to check.
Centralize purchasing. Stop duplicate ordering by designating one person in your lab or work group to be responsible for chemical purchases.
Purchase compressed gas cylinders or lecture bottles only from manufacturers who will accept returns of empty cylinders.
Use recycled or second hand chemicals whenever possible: Be on the lookout for unwanted chemicals in other labs or work areas. Before you call EHS to dispose of an unwanted but usable chemical, please check to see whether other labs in your building can use the material. Pay special attention when you hear of a lab group that is moving or a work group that is changing a process!
Evaluate the possibility of redistillation of waste solvents in your lab.
Reduce the amount of product used. This can be achieved by reducing the scale of experiments. Periodically review your procedures to see if this is possible. Also, make sure you read and follow instructions so that you only use what is needed. Get away from the false belief that “if one cup works, then 2 cups will really be great? This is especially true for application of pest control and fertilizers. What is not used will only run off to water resources or contaminate soil.
Prevent students in teaching labs from over-dispensing chemicals by pre-weighing chemicals needed for experimentation, storing stock chemicals in small nozzle bottles, and preparing stock solutions prior to each experiment.
Substitute instrumental methods for wet chemistry whenever possible.
Substitute non-toxic or less toxic materials: Consider less toxic substitutes for commonly used chemicals. These substitutions can be done in most situations with satisfactory results. EHS is happy to provide waste minimization consultation and green product evaluation.
Detoxify or neutralize waste products within experimentation procedures whenever possible.
Maintain accurate labels on all product and waste bottles to ensure that unknown chemicals are not generated.
Do not mix hazardous and non-hazardous waste: Non-hazardous waste, when mixed with hazardous waste, will become hazardous itself. This only results in increased volumes of hazardous waste produced. For example, a solvent is used to clean residues of an oil spill, and the rag is then placed in a drum of oil and absorbent material. This drum, formerly non-regulated with a disposal cost of $45, is now hazardous waste and disposal will cost the university $211.56.
High concentration waste should not be mixed with low concentration waste.
Avoid experiments that produce waste that is both radioactive and chemically hazardous or biologically and chemically hazardous.
The Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) maintains a webpage aimed to provide information to identify the specific hazards of the products used and to reduce or eliminate exposure risks. When surplus chemicals are given to EHS, it is first determined whether the chemical is indeed a waste, or whether it can be reused or recycled. If it is a waste, the degree of hazard and the appropriate disposal route are determined. Throughout this process, the university is required to keep records that account for hazardous wastes throughout the lifecycle of the product.
Proper handling and disposal of hazardous waste is critical to worker safety, the health of the community and the protection of our environment. Collection and processing of these wastes is managed by EHS, Radiation Safety, and, in some cases, Laboratory Animal Resources personnel.
IU has developed a consolidated online request form that allows users to request hazardous materials management or waste minimization assistance, and/or disposal of hazardous wastes in one step. This request form can also be used to request additional replacement supplies such as containers or tags.
All hazardous waste must ultimately be managed by a permitted Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facility (TSDF). The waste codes assigned to a waste and its physical properties determine which treatment/disposal techniques are available.
Fuel substitution at a cement kiln, wastewater treatment (neutralization, precipitation of metals, reduction, etc.), stabilization of metal-bearing solids, and rotary kiln incineration are the methods most frequently employed for final disposal of wastes generated by Indiana University.
Our spill report records indicate that no such incidents occurred within the last three years.
Indiana University has a chemical inventory database which allows researchers to make exchanges with new/used chemicals. Although there is no formal policy requiring labs to reuse older chemicals before new ones, as space and need for the older/used chemicals runs out they are sent back to the vendors to be burned in a cement kiln for energy. There are guidelines in place to encourage employees to try to use unwanted chemicals from other labs and to see whether others can use the chemicals they no longer need before disposing of them.
Surplus electronics are delivered to Surplus Stores and either resold or recycled off site by Unicor. Broken electronics are categorized as electronic waste and are picked up by EHS and recycled by Unicor.
Previously, IUB held a number of E-Waste Collection Days, which collected 141,070 pounds of electronic waste in June of 2013. Now, the Monroe County Solid Waste Management District offers free recycling of electronic waste year-round to the community, and IU's E-Waste Days are no longer required.
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.
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.