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  • AASHE-STARS

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

Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 61.96
Liaison Briar Schoon
Submission Date June 30, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Portland Community College
OP-21: Hazardous Waste Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Briar Schoon
Sustainability Analyst
Facilities Management Services
"---" 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?:
Yes

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

Portland Community College has a district wide sustainable purchasing policy through the college's Board of Directors. The policy reads as follows: "In accordance with the Oregon Community College Rules of Procurement member colleges are committed to the use and purchase of environmentally and socially responsible materials and products which are fiscally responsible, reduce resource consumption and waste, perform adequately and promote human health and well-being. Recognizing their regional economic role Colleges shall seek opportunities to educate, encourage, and influence their respective markets by utilizing, where feasible, products and services including new environmentally preferable products, reusable products, recycled content and recycled products."

Staff members in departments that produce hazardous, non-hazardous, and universal waste receive annual hazardous waste training that covers best practices in reducing these waste streams. Additionally, Safety & Risk Services staff works with individual departments and through the laboratory chemical hygiene committees to implement less hazardous products and processes. Recycling or reclamation is used for universal waste lamps, batteries, petroleum oils, solvents, antifreeze, and silver bearing photographic fixer.


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

When PCC does generate hazardous, universal, and non-regulated chemical waste, then there is a strict collection and disposal process that must be followed. PCC has a specific department that handles all hazardous waste matters - the Safety and Risk Management services. All Facility Management Services staff that come in contact with any of the materials listed above, or may come in contact in the future, are given an extensive, all-day training called, "All Campus Locations: Facility Maintenance Services Department, Environmental, Hazardous, and Non-hazardous Waste Management Training (40 CFR 262.34(d)(5)(iii). Upon completion of the training, staff are able to properly identify, collect, store, label, and dispose of all institutionally-generated hazardous, universal, and non-regulated chemical waste. In order to ensure that all above waste is properly disposed or recycled after it is collected, PCC contracts with North West Environmental, an environmental consulting firm, to make sure that the waste is transported and disposed or recycled according to all local, state, and federal laws. Additionally, Safety & Risk Services staff conducts unannounced quarterly hazardous waste inspections of all College programs to review compliance with the hazardous, non-hazardous, and universal waste program.


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

N/A: No significant incidents.


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

Safety & Risk Services staff reviews all requests for disposal of laboratory chemicals for opportunities to reuse chemicals in other college laboratories or programs. There is no district-wide inventory program to facilitate reuse of laboratory chemicals because unlike colleges with research laboratories that have extensive chemical inventories and varied laboratory operations, there are few opportunities in a two year college teaching environment to reuse laboratory chemicals between teaching laboratories. The teaching laboratories are also encouraged to purchase chemicals in small quantities to prevent overstock situations.


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

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

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:

- All institutionally-generated e-waste material is handle through our Central Distribution Service Department, Surplus Sales department. The Central Distribution staff are specifically trained to handle such electronic waste materials. E-waste is collected by the Central Distribution department on a by request basis through an internal surplus property request form. The equipment is then either re-used by other department through surplus requests, sold to the general public at auction if it is still in good operational condition, or properly recycling through local, conscientious Portland-based vendors such as Total Reclaim.


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

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