Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 53.67
Liaison Stephen Ellis
Submission Date Oct. 7, 2021

STARS v2.2

Boston University
OP-20: Hazardous Waste Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Stephen Ellis
Director, Data Analytics
BU Sustainability
"---" 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:

A Chemical Waste Minimization plan has been developed which describes methods (including inventory management, scaling, substitution and waste stream management) laboratory staff can utilize to reduce the amount of chemical wastes they generate. BU EHS also offers a program to subsidize the cost of solvent recycling for interested laboratories. Wastes from photo-processing operations are filtered to remove contaminants to avoid the collection of the entire liquid waste stream. Boston University is actively replacing fluorescent fixtures with LED lighting which eliminates mercury-containing fluorescent bulbs. Oil-water separators have been installed on air compressors significantly decreasing oil waste throughout campus. The Associate Director of Environmental management joined the infrastructure and logistics working group for the Boston University zero waste task force.

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 EHS staff. This program includes many chemicals which are not technically regulated chemical wastes, but 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. EHS oversees the disposal of universal waste to only approved endpoints. As part of the pandemic response, custodial waste training was added to BioRaft so that training can take place remotely.

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 hazardous materials releases within the past three years.

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

The bio-raft data management system is online at both campuses and being utilized for many purposes including, inventory management, waste pickup requests, and training. I am actively working with the infrastructure and logistics working group to acquire a space for chemical and laboratory supply re-distribution. I am presently building an inventory of re-usable items that are coming through our waste disposal team so that the value of this proposed space can be quantified. A space has now been selected and we have begun collecting chemicals and laboratory items for redistribution.

Does the institution have or participate in a program to responsibly recycle, reuse, and/or refurbish 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), including information about how electronic waste generated by the institution and/or students is recycled:

Complete Recycling Solutions (CRS), an R2 certified facility, manages electronic waste throughout campus. Trucking removes electronic equipment throughout campus upon request and transports it to a pickup location where our vendor-CRS removes these items for recycling.

The main electronic items like refrigerators and microwaves are provided to the students for use each school year. At the end of the year, they are collected and cleaned for redistribution the following year. At the end of each school year, electronic items and anything else the students do not take with them is collected and offered to Goodwill. Any electronic waste that cannot be used by Goodwill is collected by CRS for recycling. Additionally, electronic waste collection/universal waste collection areas are present at all dormitories, and other select locations throughout campus.

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

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

This represents FY2019 & FY2020 BU Metrics.

Another vendor, Allied Computer Brokers (ACB), is a full-service recycling broker of electronic waste and other recyclable material that is dismantled and/or shredded down to the commodity level. That waste is then processed, sorted, sent or brokered to downstream vendors. All of ACB’s downstream vendors are audited to verify that not only is the waste being handled correctly, but the vendors are R2 or e-Stewards certified.

ACB itself is not R2 or e-Steward certified, but its downstream recyclers are. Due to ACB’s process for material handling, certification is provided for all commodities by its vendors. A pdf on "ACB's Downstream Vendors Paperwork and Certifications" is attached.


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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.