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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 77.43
Liaison Claudia Frere-Anderson
Submission Date Oct. 14, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Washington, Seattle
OP-25: Hazardous Waste Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 John Wallace
Environmental Health & 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?:

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

The University of Washington has the Environment Health & Safety department, which handles the different types of wastes mentioned in this credit.

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

The UW Environment Health & Safety department's mission is to educate the staff at the UW to handle hazardous waste, as mentioned in the mission statement below.
"To support the University of Washington’s teaching, research, and service missions, the Environmental Health and Safety Department assists organizational units in meeting their responsibility to protect the environment and to provide a safe and healthful place of employment and learning."
EH&S collects hazardous chemical waste from all UW owned and operated facilities. This service is covered by overhead on research grants. Guidance on waste collections can be found at the following link: http://www.ehs.washington.edu/epowaste/chemwaste.shtm

All hazardous waste at the University of Washington that is not reused, recycled or treated is sent to permitted hazardous waste recycling and disposal facilities. The waste streams listed will be incinerated at high temperature. Detailed information chemical waste management can be found at the following link: http://www.ehs.washington.edu/manuals/lsm/lsm3.pdf


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

The University of Washington has not had any significant hazardous materials releases 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:

The MyChem Chemical Exchange is an online system that allows you to quickly search for surplus chemicals and advertise your own usable surplus chemicals. This can save labs money and reduces hazardous waste. In fact, one study found that unwanted chemicals account for up to 40% of all hazardous waste at universities.

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):

All items purchased with University monies or given to the University that are no longer needed by a department whether they are in working or non-working condition, must be transferred to UW Surplus for resale, recycling, or disposal. UW Surplus is a self-sustaining department. It receives no direct state funding and must generate revenue to cover all costs. UW Surplus revenue is generated through sales of items transferred from departments.

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

At the UW, electronics recycling includes computers, monitors, and peripherals. Electronics in working and non-working condition that are no longer needed by a department are transferred to UW Surplus for resale or proper recycling. All electronics that cannot be resold are recycled by the University’s electronics vendor, Total Reclaim, a local electronics recycler that recently successfully completed the rigorous process of becoming an ISO 14001:2004 certified organization. In fact Total Reclaim has a long-established track record of sound environmental management of electronic waste. In 2003, Total Reclaim became an original signatory of the Basil Action Network’s Electronic Recycler's Pledge of True Stewardship (www.ban.org). BAN is a not-for-profit organization that works to prevent the export of hazardous waste and toxic chemicals to developing countries. In 2009, Total Reclaim was certified by a third party auditor as a Preferred Processor of Electronics for the E-Cycle Washington electronics recycling program (www.ecyclewashington.org). Total Reclaim currently processes tens of millions of pounds of unwanted electronics each year for this program.

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.