Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 68.74
Liaison Kathleen Crawford
Submission Date July 28, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Florida Gulf Coast University
OP-25: Hazardous Waste Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Rhonda Holtzclaw
Environmental Health & Safety
"---" 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 Department of Environmental Health and Safety works with any potential generators of hazardous waste and works to minimize the amount of waste generated. Each department of Florida Gulf Coast University is responsible for reasonable and appropriate actions to minimize the amount of hazardous waste generated by their operations, teaching, and research. Waste minimization techniques shall include, but are not limited to: Eliminating the waste generating process, Substituting a non-hazardous or less hazardous material, Purchase small quantities/only purchase what is needed, Use less material - reduce the scale of procedures or process, partnering with other labs or stockrooms to share supply, Reuse and recycle materials where practical, and not purchasing large quantities of materials because they are less expensive per unit volume.

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

Florida Gulf Coast University is still successful in remaining a Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator (CESQG). This is done by diligent and vigilant oversight by Environmental Health and Safety, and by purifying chemicals such as alcohols, formalin, and xylenes for reuse in classrooms and laboratories.

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

There have been no significant release incidents in the history of the institution.

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

Florida Gulf Coast University is a Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator of hazardous waste. In our efforts to retain this official generator status, we use several waste minimization techniques to prevent pollution and reduce the waste production on campus. The US EPA and the Florida DEP recommend these techniques, such as solvent recycling, bioremediation, and simple chemical neutralization.

Our solvent recycling process is a clear-cut, streamlined process where spent xylenes, alcohols and formalin mixtures are purified through fractional distillation, and reused in the same original processes or for less sensitive ones. None of the solvents ever leave campus, or are placed in bulk storage. EH&S functions as the wheels of the process, collecting the spent solutions from the labs, running them through the recycler, and returning them to the lab or stockroom. However, the entire process is dependent on the generators to segregate the different solutions at the point of origin. This requires separate containers for each waste stream to be labeled and maintained without cross contamination. Without this effort on their part, separating some of the solutions, even by distillation, would not be possible.

The bioremediation process is a project for our Environmental Engineering students. EH&S works with the Chair of the Environmental Engineering department, who has experience and expertise in this area, and supports the project by obtaining equipment and supplies for the students to build the bio-reactor and analyze the results. Aqueous wastes containing phenol from research labs are used as substrate material for suitable microbes. Students carefully combine all reactants, monitor the process, observe and analyze the phenol degradation, and collect the data. These results exhibit the fulfillment of student learning through a faculty-guided scientific research project in an area of recent technological advances for waste treatment and disposal. The students publish their results in graduate thesis papers, and poster presentations for our Research Day competitions each year. Since it was established, this project continues to expand to other waste streams, helping to remove them from the university’s generated hazardous waste, further reducing our total waste quantities requiring disposal, in support of our environmental mission.

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):

University Owned Electronic Equipment: The University coordinates with Lee County Solid Waste to recycle electronic equipment. Any department that has electronic equipment requiring disposal contacts the Work Management Center at 590-1370 or wmc@fgcu.edu, and provides both the location and amount of electronics to be recycled.

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

Departments ensure the item is no longer on inventory, and has been cleared of its memory prior to contacting the Work Management Center for disposal.

Departmental electronics are picked up, free of charge by warehouse staff, organized, palletized and shipped periodically to Lee County Solid Waste Recycling plant to be forwarded to a green recycler, currently out of Sarasota. For more information regarding the processor, please contact Emory Smith at Lee County Solid Waste

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.