Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 57.92
Liaison Keisha Payson
Submission Date Feb. 25, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Bowdoin College
OP-25: Hazardous Waste Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Keisha Payson
Sustainability Coordinator
Sustainable Bowdoin
"---" 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:

Bowdoin conducts trainings and refresher courses for employees as part of an effort to reduce hazardous, universal, and non-regulated chemical waste.

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

Responsible Persons and other identified employees shall receive initial and annual training specific to their work areas, including at least the following: the provisions of the federal and state regulations; hazardous waste determination and classification systems; onsite waste storage and labeling procedures; manifesting, packaging, and shipping procedures; land disposal requirements and recordkeeping. Storage areas will be maintained at or near the point of generation, demarcated as such with a sign (i.e., “Hazardous Waste Satellite Accumulation Area (SAA)) and other means (i.e., marking tape on the floor or countertop where container is kept), and secured from public access. The SAA’s will be inspected weekly for physical condition of the container(s) and signs of a release, when wastes are present AND the work location is in use. Inspections will be logged on the form provided, and the forms kept in or immediately adjacent to the SAA location. Shipments will be managed by the Hazardous Waste Coordinator and a licensed hazardous waste transporter.

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


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

The Bowdoin Laboratory Manager conducts a Chemical Reuse Inventory as part of Bowdoin's Waste Minimization Plan.
A 1995 survey of American colleges and universities found that more than ten percent have adopted "microscale" laboratory experiments. The microscale concept was first developed and popularized by chemistry professors at Bowdoin College. The principle was to modify standard class-room chemistry procedures in a way that uses a fraction of the typical quantity of chemicals. The goal was to reduce the cost of chemical purchase and disposal and to minimize the risks that accompany the use, storage and disposal of chemicals. After publishing articles on the subject of microscale experiments in the mid-1980's, positive response was so great that Bowdoin faculty decided to develop a textbook and a newsletter on microscale chemistry. Since then, many further texts have appeared and specialized equipment developed. Special microscale glassware is smaller and less breakable. Though an initial investment is required when an institution switches to microscale equipment and textbooks, the cost should be offset by purchase and disposal savings. A crucial benefit of "going microscale" is a safer environment for students and instructors, including better air quality(http://www.iisd.org/educate/learn/microscale.htm).

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):

The recycling of faculty and staff e-waste (Bowdoin issued computers, phones, PDAs, etc.) is managed by Bowdoin's Information Technology department and the campus Associate Director of Environmental Health and Safety. All Bowdoin's e-waste is sent to an In-state Electronics Reuse and De-manufacturing facility licensed by Maine's Department of Environmental Protection and the US EPA. The facility is a nonprofit that helps people with intellectual disabilities and other challenges find jobs, housing and support services. Disabled adults are hired to recycle as much of the electronics as they can. All the salvaged goods, particularly computers and televisions, are provided to disadvantaged communities. Student owned batteries, cell phones, computers, etc. are recycled using Bowdoin’s Technotrash bins. The Sustainable Bowdoin office maintains Technotrash bins in three campus computer labs, the Student Union, and in Sustainability Office. These are primarily used by students to recycle computer equipment, diskettes, CD’s, DVD’s, jewel cases, videos, audio and computer tapes, cell phones, PDA’s, and rechargeable batteries. The Technotrash bins are sent to Greendisk where the items are refurbished or confidentially recycled. Bowdoin also hosts an annual event each fall for faculty, staff and students allowing them to recycle their personal e-waste for free. The popular one day collection event is managed by the same company that handles Bowdoin's e-waste. An example promotion from one of the past events can be viewed here http://community.bowdoin.edu/news/2012/09/bowdoin-offers-free-e-waste-take-back-day/

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

All Bowdoin issued batteries, cell phones, computers, and PDAs are recycled by the IT department and campus Manager of Environmental Health and Safety. Student owned batteries, cell phones, computers, etc are recycled using Bowdoin’s Techno-Trash Cans. The Sustainable Bowdoin office maintains Techno Trash Cans in three campus computer labs as well as one in the Sustainable Bowdoin Office and one in the Student Union. These are primarily used by students, and are used for recycling a mix of computer equipment, diskettes, CDs DVD’s, jewel cases, video, audio and computer tapes, cell phones, pagers, PDAs, rechargeable batteries and more. Faculty and staff who have non-Bowdoin issued techno-trash such as CDs, audio tapes and DVDs send it to the Sustainability Coordinator via campus mail for recycling.

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