Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 46.21
Liaison Chris Gardner
Submission Date Aug. 23, 2022

STARS v2.2

Douglas College
OP-20: Hazardous Waste Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 1.00 Louie Girotto
Associate Director
Physical Plant Services & Projects
"---" 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:

The hazardous waste Douglas College manages is primarily produced from teaching labs, so that limits the College's ability to reduce the waste generated overall. The College does, however:
- encourage departments to autoclave materials where possible to allow them to be removed from the hazardous waste stream.
- encourage departments to only order what is needed and not to order extra to ensure that substances are not discarded without being used.

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

Douglas College's hazardous waste is stored at the sites where it is used until either the end of a semester or if the storage area becomes full. When the substances are ready to be removed, employees contact the College's Facilities and Safety, Security and Risk Management (SSRM) departments to schedule a pick-up, providing the names of the substances and the quantities of each.

The substances are prepared, handled and transported to a centralized storage area following supplemental procedures for each type of waste stream (biohazardous, hazardous chemical, laboratory glass, and sharps).

When the products are ready, the College's safety officer contacts the hazardous waste contractor for pick-up. The safety officer prepares the TDG (transport of dangerous goods) manifest and collect/distribute the copies as necessary.

The final step in the process is the College obtains a certificate of destruction for the substances removed from the site. This ensures the College meets our responsibilities for the substances from ‘cradle to grave’. The program is intended to support compliance with BC’s hazardous waste regulation as well as the Federal Transportation of Dangerous Goods regulation. The College's hazardous waste contractor is certified by the government to handle and dispose of hazardous waste.

With regard to universal and non-regulated waste:
- SSRM generally does not manage the disposal of universal waste.
- There is very little non-regulated hazardous waste at the College.

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

There have been two ‘significant’ releases in the last three years at Douglas College.

The first was the result of an industrial accident by a contractor acting as the prime contractor. The contractor hit and broke a valve on one of Douglas's chillers. This released an unknown quantity of the refrigerant gas R134A. R134A is a substance that displaces oxygen and is stored under pressure. It vapourizes quickly with the potential for cold-related injuries. This caused a full evacuation of the chiller room with an emergency response from the municipal fire department. The incident was reported to WorkSafeBC and Technical Safety BC as this was required by both. This impacted the College as it prevented the use of the air conditioning for some time. Remediation was not necessary as the gas that was released was ventilated out of the chiller room to the outside air.

The second incident involved a refuse truck. While on-site, it suffered a failure of one of its hydraulic lines. This incident did not occur during regular business hours so it was not recognized until a member of the public observed an oil sheen on a local creek. This was reported to the city who in turn reported it to the ministry of environment. The fire department responded and assisted in the control of the substance. The College responded and arranged for a final clean-up of our property. The College also completed the paperwork required by the ministry of environment. The College do not know the volume of the spill.

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

Douglas College does not have a centralized inventory system.

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 at Douglas College that are not longer being used are first donated to Purpose Society, who help connect families and individuals to digital services with the donated electronics (e.g., tablets, computers).

If if the Purpose Society can't accommodate these donations, the Rotary Club takes items and transfers them to users in other countries.

If recycling must occur, it happens through the Electronic Recycling Association (ERA) which is a non-profit organization that has been reducing unnecessary electronic waste since 2004. They reduce adverse environmental contribution through electronic recycling, repurposing and through the donation of electronics and other IT Equipment.


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:

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.