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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 Gold
Overall Score 69.67
Liaison Trina Innes
Submission Date June 30, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Alberta
OP-21: Hazardous Waste Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 1.00 Lois Dvorsky
Environmental Services Officer
Office of 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?:
Yes

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

CENTRALLY FUNDED HAZARDOUS WASTE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
The University of Alberta has a centrally funded program to manage hazardous materials for recycling or disposal. Laboratories are encouraged to reduce the amount of chemicals they store by completing chemical audits and using targeted chemical disposal programs. Additionally, annual laboratory audits are conducted by the Operations Team that encourages labs to maintain only a minimal chemical inventory.

BULK PURCHASING
University departments using chemicals typically have central stores that manage many of the chemicals common to labs in the department. This allows for bulk purchasing, which reduces duplicate purchases and individual lab storage volumes.

CHEMICAL REUSE
The university has a Recycle Chemical Program that encourages labs to reduce their inventory by relinquishing surplus chemicals that are then made available to other labs on campus. The surplus chemical inventory is a searchable electronic database available to all labs registered in the database.


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

The University of Alberta has operated a centrally funded program to manage hazardous waste both on main campus and at our satellite campuses for almost 40 years. The Hazardous Waste Program manages both hazardous and non-regulated waste, including chemical, radionuclide, bio-hazardous waste and some hazardous recyclables such as paint and mercury. The program operates with one technician and a supervisor. Both the tech and supervisor are trained in bio, chemical and radiation safety, defensive driving and Transportation of Dangerous Goods.

The Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) website provides information on management of hazardous waste, and EHS administers an electronic waste tracking program that maintains records of receipt and disposal of hazardous materials.

The hazardous, non-regulated and select universal waste for disposal are collected on campus and transported in accordance with the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations to the hazardous waste transfer facility. At the facility the waste is sorted and packed for transfer to a licenced hazardous waste disposal vendor. Solvents are bulked into two 10,000 litre tanks from which the contents are sent out with a licenced hazardous waste disposal vendor for disposal.


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

There have been no incidents of hazardous material release in the previous three years.


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

RECYCLE CHEMICAL PROGRAM

Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) has a Recycle Chemical Program that encourages labs to reduce their chemical inventory by relinquishing surplus chemicals that are then made available to other labs on campus. The surplus chemical inventory is a searchable electronic database called Chematix that is available to all labs registered in the database. To access Chematix, a lab simply has to register, and then can use the inventory to donate chemicals or to request surplus chemicals from EHS. Donated chemicals are picked up directly from the lab by EHS and chemicals requested from surplus are delivered to the lab within 1-3 business days. We are conducting a pilot test of a laboratory electronic inventory system with two departments, Chemistry and Pharmacy. This inventory program not only allows for development of a chemical database for each laboratory in the pilot but also allows labs to manage their own surplus or recycle materials by transferring the material directly to an interested lab.

SOLVENT RECYCLING

In 2015/16 the Department of Chemistry received a grant from the Sustainability Enhancement Fund to purchase a solvent recycling unit for both the undergraduate teaching and research laboratories. This project will lead to an approximate recovery of 6,160 litres of acetone per year saving approximately $16,500 annually in disposal costs.


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 university-owned electronic waste is processed through the Surplus Department at Supply Management Services (SMS). Individual departments are responsible for identifying the items and submitting a request to SMS for pickup. Once the request is received, SMS' drivers are dispatched to pick up the items. When the equipment arrives in SMS' warehouse, a sort is performed and it is prepared for transport off-campus to a local recycler. The local recycler processes the equipment and provides our department with a record of destruction.

Collection centers are set up on campus by the university two times per year to collect large electronics. Smaller personal items can be dropped off at collection centres managed by the Students' Union and picked up by SMS. Students and staff are permitted to dispose of personal electronics, including old or obsolete computers, televisions and other electronic devices at these collection centres. The items are removed from campus and taken to a local recycler.

All electronic waste is collected centrally, picked up and transported to an electronic waste recycle center. The recycler is certified by the Government of Alberta and has met all the required safety and environmental standards within the province of Alberta.


Is the institution’s electronic waste recycler certified under the e-Stewards and/or Responsible Recycling (R2) standards?:
No

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:
85.04 Tons

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

ADDITIONAL RESPONSIBLE PARTIES:

Jessie Kwasny
Waste Diversion/Recycling Supervisor
Buildings and Grounds Services

Kris Urbanczyk
Associate Director, Distribution Services
Supply Management Services

Daniel Kielback
Specialist, Sustainable Engagement
Sustain SU, Students' Union

Christopher Avelar
Team Lead, Involvement
Students' Union

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.