Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 55.58
Liaison Dennis Carlberg
Submission Date April 26, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Boston University
OP-25: Hazardous Waste Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Dennis Carlberg
Associate Vice President for University Sustainability
sustainability@BU
"---" 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:

BU has a Chemical Waste Minimization plan which addresses ways researchers specifically can minimize the volumes of waste they generate. BU subsidizes the operation of acetone recycling devices which allow high-volume labs to re-use this solvent instead of disposing it. In addition, specific guidance is provided on reducing mercury contamination and filtering photo-processing wastes. BU continues to install LED lighting fixtures which eliminate mercury-containing fluorescent bulbs.


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

Chemical waste training is part of the mandatory annual training which every researcher receives, and each laboratory is inspected for compliance at least twice per year. Wastes which are collected inside the laboratory are removed and managed through final disposal by EH&S staff. This program includes many chemicals which are not technically regulated chemical wastes, but which are kept from the environment as a best management practice. Facilities personnel who manage universal wastes are also trained annually on their proper collection and segregation, with dozens of dedicated areas set up for their safe collection. EH&S oversees the disposal of universal waste to only approved endpoints.


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

A vendor brought a rented hydraulic lift on sight which leaked a few gallons of hydraulic fluid. The spill was reported to the state regulators because the volume was unknown, however it ended up being less than a 10-gallon release (the reportable threshold in MA). The spill impacted paved walkways and some landscaped areas which were cleaned thoroughly by a spill response contractor.


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

The campus' Research Information Management System (RIMS) is the software used to organize laboratory data including personnel, chemicals and equipment. A RIMS marketplace exists with a Campus Surplus Chemicals section where any item in a chemical inventory which has been marked 'surplus' is available for other campus researchers to see. In this way researchers are able to identify surplus chemicals for reuse prior to purchase of new reagents.


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):

During the school year, sustainability@BU manages the Sustainability Help Desk where the BU community can learn about ways to recycle electronics. sustainability@BU interns also collect electronics as well as other items that people bring to be recycled. Electronics are then picked up by IRN.


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

The Institutional Recycling Network (IRN) works with Boston University and many other area universities and a network of local recycling facilities in Massachusetts. The IRN works with ACB Recovery to handle all the University’s electronics recycling needs.
ACB is committed to maintaining a safe workplace, and to providing employees with appropriate training and equipment to maintain a safe and accident-free work environment.

All employees are instructed upon hire in procedures to assure the safe performance of their responsibilities, including lifting, equipment operation, and tool operation.
Employees are provided with and instructed in the use of appropriate safety equipment, including (as relevant) safety goggles, steel-toed footwear, hearing protection, gloves, and protective clothing.

Employees are encouraged to report any conditions that they believe may contribute to an unsafe working condition.

ACB is committed to providing service that not only complies with all state and federal regulations affecting the handling of electronic equipment (particularly cathode ray tubes, or CRTs, which because of their leaded glass content can be classified as a hazardous waste when discarded), but assures a level of safety and proper handling that goes well beyond compliance. For example, ACB is committed to assuring that re-usable equipment is marketed only to reputable domestic and pre-qualified international markets, and is not exported for recycling to second- and third-world countries with lax environmental controls.


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.