Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.35
Liaison Juliana Goodlaw-Morris
Submission Date Feb. 6, 2024

STARS v2.2

California State University, San Marcos
IN-47: Innovation A

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50 Juliana Goodlaw-Morris
Sustainability Manager
Safety, Risk and Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Emerald Energy and Bio-INergy Program

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

This ongoing program continues to be an innovative effort for waste management in our labs. CSUSM continues to be one of the only universities across the nation managing our laboratory waste in this way. Typically waste is autoclaved (lots of water and energy) and then landfilled. We have decided to keep this as an innovation credit because we continue to do process improvement and have expanded so that now, over 90% of our labs are a part of the program. In addition, we now include gloves both from our labs and our custodial staff. This program creates educational opportunities for our students to better understand waste, in all its forms, as well as gives them practical tools to share with professional laboratories, if they plan on working in labs once graduated from college. This ensures we are managing our waste and hazardous waste in the best way possible.

We have expanded to include a new program, Bio-INergy. Bio-INergy is red bag waste that does not contain pathology waste. Normally, red bags are shipped out-of-state to be incinerated and the remains deposited into a landfill. Bio-INergy, on the other hand, uses microwave treatment technology to render red bag waste into non-hazardous trash which is then managed the same as Emerald Energy.

Emerald Energy is non-hazardous waste only. Oftentimes, instructional labs will produce waste that is not contaminated with any hazardous materials or infectious agents. While this waste could technically go into regular trash, it might raise some red flags because it looks like lab debris with no visual way of confirming that it is non-hazardous. For this reason, SH&S manages this waste instead of Facility Services. However, by separating this from actual biological waste (i.e., red bag waste), it reduces disposal costs and energy that would be used for treatment.

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :

The website URL where information about the innovation is available :
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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