Overall Rating Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Tavey Capps
Submission Date Feb. 25, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Duke University
OP-25: Hazardous Waste Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Tavey Capps
Environmental Sustainability Director
Office of the Executive Vice President
"---" 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:

Occupational and Environmental Safety Office, Environmental Programs supports Duke University’s policy to minimize the environmental impact of its activities through the development, implementation, and tracking of hazardous chemical and radiological waste. Minimizing the amount hazardous waste generated is the primary goal of OESO, Environmental Programs, and this is a shared responsibility between the individual generators and OESO, Environmental Programs. Current opportunities to minimize hazardous, universal, and non-regulated chemical waste generated at Duke University include:

Persons ordering chemicals should purchase only the amount of chemicals which are needed in order to avoid the disposal costs of excess chemicals, which often outweigh the savings of ordering larger quantities.

The chemical inventory control system prevents additional purchases of chemicals that already exist onsite, reducing costs and saving time. OESO, Environmental Programs collects unused or expired chemicals across the institution for disposal or reuse.

Chemical users utilize "micro" volume methods whenever possible, reducing the aqueous components in samples and reducing the total amount of waste generated for disposal. Another practice which reduces the total volume of hazardous waste is to carefully segregate hazardous and nonhazardous wastes.

OESO, Environmental Programs encourages the institution to switch from hazardous to non-hazardous chemicals and change concentrations of highly hazardous chemicals. One example of this is the replacement of mercury-containing equipment such as thermometers with electronic equipment.

OESO Environmental Programs manages a surplus chemicals exchange program. Unopened chemicals are collected, stored, and made available for redistribution elsewhere free of charge. The surplus chemical exchange is located at 017 Medical Sciences Research Building (basement level near the loading dock). A current inventory of chemicals is posted on the door of Room 017, or inquiries can be made by telephone to OESO EP or by searching the Internet at: http://www.safety.duke.edu/ChemEx/chemex.asp

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

OESO, Environmental Program Division makes hazardous waste decisions in accordance with RCRA guidelines, prepares wastes for shipment and disposal, and provides assistance to generators as necessary. OESO, Environmental Programs has a rechargeable battery and cell phone recycling program: batteries less than 2 pounds can be placed in the designated recycling containers throughout campus. OESO, Environmental Programs also provides support to the Health System to manage the generation and handling of hazardous drug waste, evaluate environmental risks, and ensure compliance with applicable environmental regulations. Radioactive waste is accumulated in laboratories in waste containers and picked up by OESO, Environmental Programs.

Requests for a waste pick up are submitted by registered users through the OESO LSM system. OESO Environmental Programs then reviews the request, approves the waste determination, and picks up the waste from the requestor. The waste is then segregated by types and lab packed or bulked for shipment. The waste is then shipped for disposal by a Duke approved contractor. Universal wastes are segregated by type such as light bulbs or batteries, packaged, and shipped for recycling by a Duke approved contractor.

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

Duke has not had a significant hazardous materials release within the last three years.

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

OESO has developed the Chemical Exchange Program to aid Duke University researchers in reducing the need to purchase chemicals while increasing the reuse of unused or partially used chemicals between laboratories. Using exchange chemicals can also reduce laboratory operating costs and disposal costs. The Chemical Exchange Program site operates similar to an online bulletin board. You will need to log onto the site using your Win\Duke user name and password. You can then post what chemicals you would like to exchange or browse the other posts. If you find a chemical that interests you, simply post a reply on the board and work out the exchange.

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):

Duke University and Health System has a formalized program in place to recycle, refurbish and reuse all electronic waste generated by the university and health system administrative areas. All university and health system-purchased electronics must flow through the Surplus Property Program at end-of-life. The items are collected daily and transported to various facilities for donation, wiping or recycling. Computers and data-containing items that do not pass Department of Defense wiping standards are transported via secure vehicle, to a local electronics recycler. The destruction of these items is then witnessed by university staff, resulting in a fine, gravel-like metal mixture that is then recycled by metal type.
Electronics in good repair are donated to internal university and health system departments, as well as the local school system and hundreds of area non-profit groups. In FY14, 444,088lbs of e-waste was recycled from Duke institutional sources.
Students are encouraged to dispose of any unwanted electronics with Duke Recycles or the City of Durham. If you have access to a vehicle, Duke Recycles encourages all students to use the information provided for Durham City Residents to dispose of electronics. Annual E-waste Recycling Days often give students, faculty and staff an opportunity to dispose of personal electronics responsibly on campus well. http://sustainability.duke.edu/campus_initiatives/waste/ewaste.html

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

By strategically selecting a local electronics recycling firm, it is ensured that the electronic waste is recycled responsibly and is never resold or exported. Our contracted, local vendor has the following certifications: R2, eStewards, GreenPlus, EPRA, ISO9001:2008, ISO14001:2004

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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.