Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.48
Liaison Heather Albert-Knopp
Submission Date March 30, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

College of the Atlantic
OP-21: Hazardous Waste Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 1.00 Andrea Russell
Sustainability Coordinator and Community Energy Center Program Manager
"---" 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:

Being such a small institution, College of the Atlantic is able to completely avoid most sources of hazardous waste: COA does not burn coal, does not have on-site fossil fuel-based electricity production, and does not use any inorganic fertilizers, chemical pesticides, fungicides, or herbicides anywhere on campus. The College's primary strategy for reducing hazardous waste is thus to reduce to an absolute minimum the purchase of products that contain hazards. This practice was codified in the Discarded Resource and Material Management Policy (adopted 2017), available here: https://www.coa.edu/live/files/647-discardedresourcesmaterialsmanagementpolicyfinalw1, and stems from COA's "Campus Environmental Initiative," passed in 1996, which states that, "College of the Atlantic is committed to a physical infrastructure, institutional practices and personal behaviors that will foster public health."

Compact fluorescent lights are being rapidly replaced at COA with LED lights. Because some CFLs are known to contain hazardous waste, COA includes these in our "hazardous waste". 2015, 2016, and 2017 have seen higher-than-usual discarding of CFLs, increasing COA's total hazardous waste. However, these materials will not be purchased again, thereby reducing hazardous waste in future years.

We have only small-scale universal waste materials such as small quantities of used batteries and used motor oil.

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

The College collects hazardous waste materials and hires Environmental Project Inc. of Portland, Maine to collect and properly dispose of hazardous waste. Materials for disposal are collected and stored in secured, locked locations that meet the requirements of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. When a sufficient amount of material has been collected, Environmental Project Inc. is contacted for removal.

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:

COA's chemistry department undertook a comprehensive inventory of existing chemicals in the Chemistry Laboratory, and worked with Buildings & Grounds' Discarded Resources team to safely dispose of outdated, excessive, or otherwise unnecessary chemicals. As a result, COA's discarded chemical waste was more than usual for the years of 2016 and 2017, as part of the chemical purge. However, these chemicals will not be purchased again, thereby reducing chemical waste in future years.

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:

We continuously collect and accept electronic recyclables from the college community and when enough electronic waste/recyclables have been collected, we bring them to Goodwill for reuse, or to North Coast Services LLC for recycling. Due to the small scale of the College, the scale of these collections is also small (and not on a fixed schedule). COA's Head Custodian confirms these collections do include 100% of electronic waste generated by the institution, as well as 100% of electronic waste generated by students.

College discarded resources staff and work-study students make every effort to minimize contamination of recyclable items. Items are sorted twice - once by those depositing the item, and again by those in charge of picking up from recycling stations around campus. Within College-owned buildings, no single non-diverted “trash” receptacle exists without accompanying composting and recycling receptacles, and signage of where to find other receptacles. COA’s outdoor campus is a carry-in-carry-out landscape without any public “trash” receptacles. These practices minimize any electronic waste being accidentally non-diverted.

Overall, COA produces so little electronic waste that it has been over four years since we last needed to dispose of A/V equipment, our last IT equipment pick-up was in 2015, and a small collection of miscellaneous equipment was taken to Goodwill in 2017. The amounts of all these collections total well under one ton of e-waste for the past 3 years.

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.