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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 69.60
Liaison Shanna Eller
Submission Date Feb. 27, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of North Carolina, Greensboro
OP-25: Hazardous Waste Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Trey McDonald
Sustainability Coordinator
Sustainability Office
"---" 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:

The Environmental Health and Safety Office (EHS) is required to submit an annual Waste Minimization Effort report to the NC Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources. UNCG has multiple programs to reduce the amount of hazardous waste generated on campus. The Orphan Chemical Program serves as a method to redistribute new or like-new chemicals on campus while being a completely free service to faculty. If the EHS office receives chemicals for disposal that are usable, they are offered to researchers on campus. EHS saves money by not having to dispose of the chemical, and the researcher saves money by avoiding the purchase of that chemical. This program was created in 1998.

EHS has also worked with the Art Department to install parts washers in their teaching studios to reduce the amount of waste generated through their activities. These are similar to machine parts washers where the students use the solvent to clean brushes and other equipment. The parts washers pump "clean" solvent off the top of the solvent drum while the art residues sink to the bottom. The service is provided by SafetyKleen, which provides a closed-loop solvent recycling service for their parts washer service. The solvent is picked up from our site, then recycled and reused in their washers. This service has reduced art waste volume by 60%.

EHS encourages micro-scale experimentation and computer modeling for research on campus when feasible. EHS also promotes chemical substitution (using less hazardous or even non-hazardous chemicals) and purchasing chemicals in smallest amounts necessary.

Finally, EHS has now implemented recycling of CFLs from on-campus student residences. EHS purchased several CFL recycling displays and placed them around UNCG to collect CFLs from student use. This service is a further effort to collect 100% of mercury items discarded on campus.


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

The UNCG Hazardous Waste Management Policy requires all personnel to dispose of chemical waste safely and in accordance with all Federal, state, local regulations. The Environmental Health and Safety Office (EHS) ensures that all chemical/ hazardous waste is disposed of or treated at a Federal Part B Permitted disposal facility (TSDF). Our laboratories operate as satellite accumulation areas. Using this EPA approved tactic, laboratories may only accumulate up to 55 gallons of hazardous waste at any one time. If that limit is exceeded, EHS is required to remove the waste within three days. Some of the larger generators on campus are on weekly pickup schedules to ensure waste does not approach the threshold quantity.

All waste on campus is required to be stored in secondary containment. EHS operates a state-of-the-art waste storage facility which offers numerous benefits for the safe storage of waste such as complete tertiary containment, separate room segregation, and emergency equipment including a foam suppression system. All hazardous waste is managed by EHS from the point of generation to shipment off-site in accordance with all Federal, state, and local regulations, as well as any TSDF specifications.

UNCG uses Federal Part B Permitted chemical disposal facilities for EPA hazardous waste, as well as permitted recycling centers for universal waste. EHS offers hazardous waste training to all generators on campus, and periodically audits the facilities we use for disposal and recycling to ensure compliance on their part. Hazardous waste slated for disposal is stored and managed properly while on campus. EHS performs general environmental inspections of hazardous waste storage areas on campus, as well as weekly inspections of our main storage facility. Chemical waste containers are packed and labeled for shipment and disposal in accordance with DOT/EPA regulations. UNCG has also changed its mercury recycling policy to follow the guidelines of the new state mandate to recycle any item containing mercury.


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

None.


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

The Environmental Health and Safety Office created the Orphan Chemical Program in 1998. This is a reuse program through which faculty can request surplus chemicals from EHS for use at no cost. This program has saved over $20,000 since its inception, while keeping chemical wastes out of the environment. Typically, chemicals remain in the program for three years before being properly disposed of if unrequested.

The Orphan Chemical Acquisition Form is located at: http://www.uncg.edu/sft/EnvironmentalAffairs/ChemWasteRemFormEHS2.pdf


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?:
Yes

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

The Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling (OWRR) has created an Alternative Recycling Program to deal with e-waste. The OWRR lists the e-waste items can be recycled on campus on its website; these include batteries, ink toner cartridges, CDs/Floppy Discs, cell phones, and other electronics. These items are collected from faculty and staff in four ways:
1. One of five drop-off containers located at the Elliot University Center, the Mossman Building, the Student Rec. Facility, Jackson Library, or the Sink Building (Facilities Operations).
2. E-waste may be packaged in small containers and sent via inter-office mail to the OWRR office.
3. Many departments have their own e-waste collection containers which are periodically serviced by OWRR.
4. OWRR can make special pickup arrangements when larger amounts are generated.


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

E-waste recycling is collected on campus at a variety of locations. This material is taken to the UNCG Surplus warehouse. At Surplus the items that need data wiping are cleaned and either sold for reuse or recycled with our contractor, PowerHouse Recycling. PowerHouse's recycling processes are complaint with R2, ISO 14001:2004 and OHSAS 18001 standards and regulations, and their downstream smelters, refineries, and vendors have been vetted and certified to assure all of their processes follow R2 and ISO 14001:2004 standards and regulations. Powerhouse recycles all computers, printers, laptops, peripherals, TVs, alkaline batteries, and "anything else with a cord." Further, rechargeable batteries and cell phones are recycled through the Federally funded Call2Recycle program.


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

Information received from Ben Kunka, Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling Manager, and Daniel Todd, UNCG Environmental Affairs Manager.

http://www.uncg.edu/sft/EnvironmentalAffairs/Env-home.html
http://facrecycling.uncg.edu/

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.