Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 58.68
Liaison Jennifer Palilonis
Submission Date July 21, 2021

STARS v2.2

Ball State University
OP-20: Hazardous Waste Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Roger Hassenzahl
Director of Purchasing Services
Purchasing
"---" 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:

Ball State University has numerous programs, procedures, and strategies in place to ensure the safe and compliant handling, recovery/reuse, treatment, storage, and disposal of all hazardous and special wastes. A key feature of these strategies is to eliminate or minimize the generation of such wastes. The following sections address these programs and activities.

Steps Taken to Reduce Wastes

Numerous examples are available of how the generation of hazardous, non-hazardous, or special wastes is eliminated or minimized:

o A major step was completed in 2015 by eliminating the burning of coal in our industrial boilers through construction of a campus-wide geothermal energy system and supplemental use of natural gas as fuel at the university. These actions completely eliminated the generation of coal ash and allowed the former coal yard to be repurposed for protective storage of salt for winter use;
o The university Environmental Specialist, upon observing or learning of any surplus chemicals or products at the university contacts other departments to determine if any personnel, shops, or laboratories can utilize those materials. This includes laboratory chemicals, standards, cleaning products, caustics, paints, and other coatings;
o Many waste or surplus chemicals can be used to neutralize or deactivate the hazardous characteristics of other waste materials to render them less hazardous, more amenable to treatment, or recoverable. This includes caustics, aqueous wastes, etc.:
o Not necessarily to reduce their quantity or volume, but to ensure their proper collection, management, and disposal, the university maintains used battery collection containers, used oil storage tanks and containers, used lamp collection boxes and staging areas, and PCB ballast storage containers. The Purchasing (campus mail) and Building Maintenance (custodians), respectively, also pick up and transport used batteries and used lamps from any campus locations to their designated staging areas preparatory to off-site shipment for recycling;
o The EHS Office operates an industrial evaporator unit that greatly reduces the volume of aqueous wastes generated on campus by evaporating the water component and thereby reducing the material needing disposal (latex paints, aquatic research wastes, etc.). This also eliminates disposal of wastewaters to the sanitary sewer system that may have an adverse effect on the POTW treatment system or allow “pass through” of contaminants to waterways;
o The EHS Office maintains three (3) aerosol recycling units on campus that allow for the recovery for fuel blending of the contents of aerosol containers, as well as the recovery of the steel or aluminum cans for scrap metal recycling. All off-gases are recovered by activated carbon filters to eliminate air emissions of volatile or gaseous components;
o The university maintains a guidance manual on what chemical compounds or solutions may be safely discharged to drains leading to the sanitary sewer system and the POTW--in accordance with our local permit discharge limitations. These materials must be beneficial, or at least harmless, to the POTW’s treatment systems;
o Although a mid-sized and high research university, the campus is able to maintain a Small Quantity Generator status under state and federal RCRA (hazardous waste management regulations) through effective management of chemical (and other) wastes, including the approaches mentioned above.


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

o Several of the following strategies were described in the preceding section as they serve to both minimize the total volume of wastes being disposed and are, at least in part, a means of disposal of those waste materials;
o The university, for laboratory wastes, operates under the RCRA Subpart K provisions specific to wastes generated by laboratories at higher education entities. Accordingly, and as required, a university-specific Laboratory Waste Management Plan was developed to create a system for the identification, staff training, labeling, acceptable container types, waste transfers, hazard characterization, and storage pending lab-packing and removal by our registered hazardous waste transporter to a permitted hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal (TSD) facility;
o Our chemical waste vendor contract specifies that no wastes are to be disposed at a sanitary landfill--instead requiring alternative means of approved treatment, reuse, or disposal of the wastes;
o Non-hazardous or non-regulated chemical wastes are disposed by the same registered, licensed, and permitted TSD waste vendors as are used for our RCRA hazardous wastes. Such wastes are entered on the same Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifests and are to be transported, handled, and treated or disposed in the same manner as are our RCRA hazardous wastes;
o The EHS Office routinely (3-4 times per year) sends an announcement to all pertinent university departments advising of the upcoming chemical waste pickup date(s), asking them to distribute that information to their departmental faculty and staff, and requesting information on the types and quantities of wastes (chemical, biological, universal, etc.) needing removal. The EHS Environmental Specialist then begins collecting those wastes for characterization, bulking, labeling, and packaging in proper Department of Transportation (DOT) containers for shipment;
o Several hazardous waste accumulation areas are maintained on our campus premises for the safe and compliant storage of hazardous and other chemical wastes pending lab-packing and removal to the permitted TSD. These are inspected weekly by the Environmental Specialist and operated in conformance with EPA and state hazardous waste generator standards. All departments and shops are made aware of the availability of these accumulation areas and that wastes may be picked up for temporary storage between the announced formal chemical waste pickup events;
o Used oils of all types are stored in dedicated and labeled tanks and containers. These are pumped into vendor tanker trucks and sent for recovery to a permitted used oil recycling facility;
o The Environmental Specialist routinely encourages and performs “laboratory cleanouts” in order to identify and remove for disposal, or use by others, any surplus chemicals and unused (waste) materials that are located in laboratories, stock rooms, or prep rooms;
o The only chemical compounds or products that may be disposed as solid waste from the campus are those that are in solid form (no free liquids), in tightly closed containers, and determined by the Environmental Specialist to: (1) contain no OSHA hazardous chemical properties other than as “irritants”, (2) present no hazards for transportation or disposal, and (3) present no hazard to solid waste facility personnel or operations;
o Regarding “Universal wastes”, used lamps (mercury-containing light bulbs) are collected throughout the campus, placed in compliant shipping boxes and stored on pallets pending shipping for recycling. Similarly, used batteries are picked up throughout campus, sorted by type, and placed in proper shipping containers in a regulated accumulation area while awaiting regular shipment to the permitted offsite recycling facility. Mercury-containing equipment (thermometers, barometers, switches, etc.) are collected directly by the Environmental Specialist or delivered to that person by other university staff or shops for proper storage before being shipped in proper containers for recycling and mercury recovery.


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

No significant or reportable (to local, state, or federal authorities) have occurred during the preceding three (3) years. Smaller or incidental releases are responded to by the Environmental Specialist. These spills or releases sometimes occur in science laboratories, art studios, vehicles, fuel dispensing areas, etc. Adequate spill response materials are stored or available at several locations on the Ball State campus and the Environmental Specialist carries adequate response materials in a van for quick response to spills in order to contain them effectively and prevent them from becoming significant releases.


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

The university subscribes to BioRAFT and its ChemTracker component for the inventory and tracking of chemicals in our laboratory and science departments. This system allows tracking of chemical containers and allows all researchers and faculty to search for chemical compounds that may be available throughout the university--thereby reducing duplication of inventory and resultant waste—be they hazardous or non-regulated chemicals, compounds, or products.


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:

The University has a strong commitment to sustainability. Every effort is made to recycle, reuse or auction to the public our excessed electronic items. On average, Ball State University collects roughly 50,000 pounds of electronics for recycling. Electronic items that have reached their end of life are collected and sent to our R2 certified recycler for processing. On average, we annually place 1300 items back on campus for reuse, which includes electronic items. The Ball State University Purchasing department has been recognized as a Silver award winner for four consecutive years, for its End-of-Life Management of electronics by the State Electronics Challenge (SEC). An award administered by the Northeast Recycling Council. This award specifically recognizes institutions for their sustainable purchasing practices, use and recycling/reuse of electronic items.

The University has a program managed through our IT department that allows students to drop off unwanted computers, peripherals, network equipment and mobile devices at a centralized location. The University removes storage mediums from the devices (hard drives, SSD drives, etc…) and erases all data. The University then physically destroys the storage mediums, so that no data can be recovered. The devices are then stripped of any hazardous materials, with the remainder being sent for recycling.


Is the institution’s electronic waste recycler certified under the e-Stewards and/or Responsible Recycling (R2) standards?:
Yes

Website URL where information about the institution’s hazardous waste program is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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