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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 56.83
Liaison Liz Davey
Submission Date Oct. 13, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Tulane University
OP-25: Hazardous Waste Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.75 / 1.00 Liz Davey
Director
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?:
Yes

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

Hazardous, universal and non-regulated chemical wastes are minimized by a combination of methods including source reduction, recycling, and training/education on appropriate waste handling and minimization practices. The Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) reviews all chemical purchase requests in order to track chemical inventories and assess chemical safety issues. Bulk purchases of chemicals are discouraged since costs associated with disposal of unwanted chemicals may ultimately exceed any savings. Other waste minimization methods include:
• Evaluating procedures to determine if hazardous materials can be eliminated or substituted with less toxic materials;
• Using inventory control to avoid accumulation of unwanted chemicals;
• Reducing the scale of lab experiments to the minimum size necessary to achieve research/experimental objectives;
• Avoiding the use of reagents containing heavy metals;
• Replacing mercury-containing equipment (thermometers) with alcohol thermometers at no cost to the department;
• Not mixing hazardous waste with non-hazardous waste;
• Recycling of unused/unwanted chemicals within a department;
• Re-distillation of used solvents;
• Developing policies and procedures regarding waste management; and
• Providing training and guidance related to hazardous waste, universal waste, and chemical safety.

In addition, the OEHS provides and distributes ECO-Funnels (chemical waste containers with funnels and hinged lids) to help facilitate proper collection and disposal of chemical waste and prevent drain disposal.


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

The OEHS is directly responsible for managing all hazardous chemical waste that is routinely generated as a result of clinical, research, teaching and maintenance operations. Specially trained personnel within the OEHS pick up hazardous waste and unused/unwanted chemicals from the various satellite accumulation areas (in labs, shops, art studios, etc.), transfer it to central accumulation areas (“waste rooms”), and coordinate ultimate disposal via a licensed commercial hazardous waste contractor. Whenever possible, unused/ unwanted chemicals are made available for reuse.

The OEHS is also responsible for centralized oversight and guidance related to the management of other regulated waste streams such as used oil, refrigerants, batteries, pharmaceutical waste, and fluorescent bulbs.

The OEHS provides training, develops policies and specific guidance documents related to regulated wastes such as hazardous waste, universal waste, and medical waste. Compliance with waste regulations and policies is evaluated on an ongoing basis and also by periodic inspections and audits.


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

We are happy to report that there have been no significant hazardous material releases within the last 3 years.


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

Chemical redistribution (recycling) is routinely encouraged as part of the lab decommissioning process.


Does the institution have or participate in a program to responsibly recycle, reuse, and/or refurbish all 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?:
No

A brief description of the electronic waste recycling program(s):

Facilities Services is now providing pick-up services for computer recycling two days a month. Staff will pick up computers from offices that have placed requests in advance through the Servicewave.Tulane.edu website. To request a pick-up of computers for recycling, visit the Servicewave.Tulane.edu website and complete a work request.


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

Tulane's e-waste is recycled by the Capital Area Corporate Recycling Council, a R2-certified, nonprofit organization committed to e-scrap reduction through recycling and the reuse of electronics by providing refurbished computers and equipment to schools, nonprofits, and low-income families through the generous contributions of supporters.
In implementing a rigorous material management strategy set by the international Responsible Recycling Practices program, the CACRC follows downstream and data material safely until the end of life product, and is the only R2 certified recycler in Louisiana. Learn more at www.r2solutions.org or www.cacrc.com.


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.