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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 74.63
Liaison Moira Hafer
Submission Date July 30, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Stanford University
OP-25: Hazardous Waste Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Moira Hafer
Sustainability Specialist
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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:

Using information generated by the California SB-14 law and reports, Stanford identified high volume wastes for minimization. These wastes are related to utilities and maintenence operations, and source reduction is the preferred method. One source reduction method is to minimize the amount of water used when cleaning cooling towers to concentrate the sludge generated. Research hazardous wastes vary widely and do not generally lend themselves to source reduction. One sucessful waste minimization activity undertaken for research wastes has been to replace thimerosol (contains mercury) with other preservatives in biological research.

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

All regulated wastes are disposed either through off-site high temperature incineration, fuels blending, treatment such as metals removal for aqueous wastes, or landfill at RCRA approved facilities. Only wastes that do not lend themselves to other technologies are landfilled.

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

No significant releases.

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

Stanford makes use of the Chemtracker online chemical inventory system for all campus labs. As an additional waste reduction measure, Stanford administers a surplus chemical program through which surplus chemicals from campus labs are made available free of charge to all members of the Stanford Research Community, rather than being disposed of as hazardous waste.

Does the institution have or participate in a program to responsibly recycle, reuse, and/or refurbish all 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):

The University provides a number of options for insuring that all e-waste generated via business operations is recycled. The Property Management Office (PMO) instructs individuals responsible for each department's assets in how to properly request disposal of all electronic items.

For components (i.e.printers, monitors, computers, etc.), a given Department Property Administrator (DPA) initiates the disposal process by submitting an online disposal request form. PMO schedules and coordinates the pickup via the Surplus Property Store (SPS). SPS is a group within the PMO. SPS personnel pick up a given electronic item and assess its quality and condition for resale. If deemed "reusable" it is sold intact to university personnel and/or the public. If it is not deemed reusable, it is containerized for shipment to the designated recycling facility. These shipments occur weekly. PMO also coordinates e-waste drop-off stations at campus cleanup events.

For smaller electronic items (i.e. cell phones, keyboards, circuit boards, etc.), Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) has approximately 100 self-service drop-off locations throughout campus. These drop-off locations are serviced on a monthly basis and all e-waste collected is evaluated and sent to SPS for reuse or recycling. This program is described on the EH&S website.

A brief description of steps taken to ensure that e-waste is recycled responsibly, workers’ basic safety is protected, and environmental standards are met:

Stanford University accepts proposals from various electronic waste recycling companies through a formal bid process. Each recycler is rated on a number of factors, including, but not limited to: environmental protection, financial stability, compliance with state and federal laws, and price and level/quality of service. The top three candidates are audited and ultimately a recycler is chosen. Among requirements for being considered, a recycler must recycle all e-waste domestically, recycle 100% of the e-waste received (i.e. no landfill) and have the ability to provide verifiable records of recycling/destruction for each waste shipment. The recycler awarded the contract for recycling e-waste generated via University operations is given a fixed term contract to recycle all wastes. The contract is non-exclusive and if the recycler fails to meet the university's standards, Stanford reserves the right to switch vendors.

The website URL where information about the institution’s hazardous and electronic-waste recycling programs is available:

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.