Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 51.18
Liaison Joseph Kahn
Submission Date April 20, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Central Michigan University
OP-21: Hazardous Waste Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Laurence Stock
Spv/Lab Operations
Chemistry & Biochemistry/ Hazardous Materials Management
"---" 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:

Department: CMU Environmental Health and Safety.
Jamie Stock--Hazardous Waste, Universal Waste: used batteries, used oil, used lamps
Jeff Suty--PCB Waste, Asbestos Waste
Facilities Management--Universal Waste: used Lamps, used Lead-Acid Batteries

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

Waste Minimization Plan:

Presently, there are three general methods for waste minimization:
•Source Reduction
Source Reduction
The most desirable method of waste minimization is source reduction. This is defined as, any activity that reduces or eliminates the generation of chemical hazardous waste at the source. This can be accomplished by good materials management, substitution of less hazardous materials, and good laboratory procedures.

Examples: Reduction of Chemical Waste Generation at the Source
Implement a departmental/laboratory waste minimization policy and train all employees and students.

Do not mix hazardous and non-hazardous wastes.

Evaluate procedures to see if a less hazardous or a non-hazardous reagent can be substituted. We have eliminated the use of toxic Chromium salts in a freshman Spectrophotometry experiment with safe non-toxic red food dye Erythrosin B.
Centralize purchasing of chemicals within the department or laboratory and Inventory chemicals and identify their location at least once a year. Our chemical inventory is online so needed reagents can be obtained from either the chemistry stockroom or even other research labs before anymore is ordered. Update inventory as chemicals are purchased or used up. We update the chemistry stockroom inventory levels weekly.
Date all chemical containers when received so that the older chemicals will be used first.
Keep on file, updated MSDS’s for all chemicals in laboratory inventory.

Purchase chemicals in the smallest quantities needed.

Do not over purchase chemicals.

Label all chemical containers to prevent the generation of unknowns.

When considering a new procedure, initially obtain the chemicals needed from another lab or purchase small quantities.

Consider the use of microscale experiments. We have purchased the Williamson Microscale glassware kits for our Organic Chemistry labs and our Advanced Organic Chemistry labs.

Consider the use of demonstrations or video presentations as a substitute for some student experiments.

Consider using pre-weighed or pre-measured reagent packets where waste generation is high. We are now using the Hach reagents in small volume sealed packets in our

Quantitative Analysis labs.

Avoid the use of reagents containing arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, selenium, and silver. We use different non-toxic pH buffers in place of the toxic elements in our Periodicity of Elements experiment done in our Armchair Chemistry lab.

Eliminate the use of chromic acid cleaning solutions altogether. Use non-hazardous solutions such as Alconox and Pierce RBS35.

Substitute red liquid (spirit-filled), digital, or thermocouple thermometers for mercury thermometers. This has been accomplished in almost every teaching lab in the Chemistry Dept. at CMU

Consider using detergent and hot water for cleaning parts instead of solvents.
Use latex-based paints which are typically non-hazardous. Recycle excess or waste latex paints.

Dispose of excess, non-latex paints as a hazardous waste.

Utilize vendors that will recycle used antifreeze.

Keep laboratory clean and orderly.

The second option for waste minimization is recycling. When a waste material is used for another purpose, treated and reused in the same process, or reclaimed for another process, this is called recycling.

Re-distill used-solvents.

When solvents are used for cleaning purposes, use contaminated solvents for the initial cleaning and use new solvents for the final rinse.

Purchase compressed gas cylinders (including lecture bottles) from manufacturers who will accept the return of the empty or partially used cylinders.

Return excess pesticides to the distributor.

Treat photographic waste with a silver recovery unit where approved.

Do not contaminate used oil with solvents or heavy metals.

Re-circulate unused, excess chemicals within your department. All of our research lab inventories are online.

Reclaim metallic mercury.

Use non-hazardous solvents or cleaning solutions in industrial parts washers.

The least preferable technique for waste minimization is treatment. The most common treatment is elementary neutralization.

Consider the possibility of including detoxification and/or neutralization steps in your laboratory procedures.

Destain ethidium bromide gels in order that they can be disposed of in the trash.
Neutralize mild acid and bases.

Microscale glassware uses minimum volume of solvents

Petroleum based chemicals replaced by “Green” reagents

Experiments conducted using natural plant based reagents such as Cinnamon and Cumin

Elimination of Mercury thermometers and other Mercury containing instruments

Reuse un-needed chemicals between departments: Chemistry is using the un-needed sodium bicarbonate submitted as waste from the Biology department

Silver chloride waste from the Chemistry department was saved for several decades and sold to metal refiner for a profit of 1,400.00

A several hundred pound drum of Potassium permanganate was donated to a Florida based water treatment plant instead of being shipped out as a hazardous waste.

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

The following procedures apply to hazardous waste containers in laboratories:

• Place a “Hazardous Waste” label on hazardous waste containers before any waste is 
put into it. Include the words “hazardous waste” on the label along with a description 
of the waste. 

• Keep containers closed when not in use. 

• Use only containers that are in good condition. 

• Keep containers under the generator’s control. 

• Inspect containers on a regular basis. 

• Keep an inventory of the contents. Record the name and amount of each chemical 
added to the waste container along with the date it was added. 

• When adding new waste to a container, check to see that the new waste is compatible 
with the original contents. 

• Date waste containers when waste is first placed in the container. 

• When the container is full, complete the hazardous waste label with percentages of 
each chemical and the date the container became full. The % column must equal 

• A container is full when the liquid level reaches close to, but not all the way to the top 
of the container. This will prevent the build-up of excessive vapors while ensuring 
adequate room for expansion. 

• Notify the Hazardous Waste Manager for waste pick-ups within 3 days of the 
container being full. 
Disposal of experimental compounds
• Dispose of experimental compounds of unknown toxicity as hazardous waste. 

• Label the container with your name, department, and chemical structure. 

• Do not, under any circumstances, dispose of unknown compounds down the drain or 
in the laboratory trash bins. 

• Used Lamps, Mercury containing manufactured articles, lamp ballasts are also managed under the universal waste regulations

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

The Chemistry Stockroom has 3,758 different chemicals and every bottle is bar coded. The information is contained in an electronic database. The location, quantity and experimental uses are recorded in this database. In addition, every chemical in every Chemistry research lab is also in a separate database.

Both of these databases are available on the web, as well as additional information regarding hazardous waste management at Central Michigan University. Please see the following link:


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:

Electronics from staff are collected, hard drives are punched and functioning pieces are resold at a monthly CMU auction:



Any non-functioning electronics have third party certifications to ensure that they are disposed of properly and no heavy metals end up in landfills.

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

Electronic waste recycled or otherwise diverted from the landfill or incinerator during the most recent year for which data is available during the previous three years:

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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.