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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 66.74
Liaison joni newcomer
Submission Date Jan. 26, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

New Mexico State University
OP-21: Hazardous Waste Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 1.00 David Shearer
Assistant Director
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:

When material is picked up and we have the option to re-use it, we give it to another department or researcher. We have a contractor who recycles and re-uses motor or transformer oils. We also train all employees working with hazardous materials and reinforce strategies to reduce waste. NMSU requires that individuals obtain approval before accepting any donated hazardous materials.

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

Environmental Health and Safety picks up, for free, any hazardous materials on campus. We contract with a number of different EPA-permitted companies that have been pre-qualified through an extensive purchasing review (such as Clean Harbors, Stericycle, and Veolia). Waste is managed by the NMSU staff of four highly-qualified and competent individuals who have been trained in all regulatory requirements relating to proper disposal of hazardous materials and waste.

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:

We keep an inventory of chemicals. The Environmental Health & Safety Office attempts to distribute excess chemicals to other departments. We have software that maintains chemical inventory that creates a list of chemicals that will be shared for re-distribution.

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?:
+ Date Revised: Aug. 11, 2017

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:

As a policy, all electronic devices are sent to the Property Office; all hard drives are erased, and then sold at auction. We ascertain that the products do not go to countries where the hazardous materials are taken out without safety precautions. We send our e-waste to New Mexico prison system where it is dismantled or re-used when possible.

We also have a campus-wide program named after our mascot, Pete. “The purpose of Re-Pete, the NMSU property and services exchange marketplace, is to reuse university equipment before it ends up in surplus, where it is often sold for less than its value,” said Abel Sanchez, director of computer support for NMSU Research Information Technology Support. Anything from furniture to electronics can be posted on the site.

“Re-Pete is a green initiative,” Sanchez said. “We at IT Support really believe in recycling and the sustainability effort, and we encourage others to join us in that effort.”

The NMSU Environmental Health and Safety office is our premier department for hazardous waste management. They even have a “Hazardous Material Shipper Training and Certification program.

The regulations governing the shipment of hazardous materials are complex and the personnel involved in the shipping process must have formal specialized, documented training to ensure the materials are properly packaged, labeled, and the appropriate shipping documentation is prepared and maintained. Items that are commonly shipped from NMSU that are classified as HM or DG include samples, bulk materials and equipment that contain one or more of the following: hazardous chemicals, biological materials, radioactive materials, and lithium batteries. More information can be found at https://safety.nmsu.edu/chemical-waste-management/hazardous-materials-shipping-transportation-2/

Website link to our Re-Pete recycling program: https://business.nmsu.edu/re-pete-program-provides-another-option-for-the-nmsu-community-to-go-green/

+ Date Revised: Aug. 11, 2017

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:
0 Tons

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
+ Date Revised: Aug. 11, 2017

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.