Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 72.07
Liaison Katie Koscielak
Submission Date May 7, 2020

STARS v2.2

Humboldt State University
OP-20: Hazardous Waste Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 1.00 Sabrina Zink
Haz Mat Coordinator
"---" 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:

HSU employs an EH&S Specialist as part of the Risk Management and Safety Services (RMSS) department to oversee and develop dynamic strategies to reduce hazardous waste generation on campus, in addition to compliant recycling of such. Utilizing open communication between materials users and emphasizing use of a unified tracking and reporting chemical database have been key components of reducing these materials need for disposal, by not purchasing more than is needed at any one time.

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

Once it is deemed waste by the user, it is labeled per compliance guidelines, collected by EH&S or recycling staff (depending on type), aggregated at the designated universal waste or hazardous materials storage location on campus, and then processed/packaged for appropriate pick-up by a contracted transporter for final disposal/recycling at a licensed facility. Both processes and locations are reviewed regularly for updating and compliance by RMSS staff to ensure conformity with current regulations and incremental improvement strategies.

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

2018: The combustion engine portion of the residential hall area co-generation unit experienced a major mechanical failure, releasing approximately 50 gallons of motor oil and water into the floor of the engine room, with some liquid going into a domestic sewer drain. Maintenance staff discovered the release when responding to the engine failure and initiated clean-up. No liquid made it past the floor drain into the sewer system and the drain was subsequently blocked for stopping a future potential recurrence.

2019: During inspection of an older building heating system plenum, suspected asbestos containing material was discovered disturbed in the plenum, prompting an exclusion protocol for areas connected to that heating system. RMSS and outside consultants conducted extensive testing in potentially affected areas to determine there was no evidence of contamination to the inhabited areas of the building. An abatement contractor removed the suspect material and isolated the other materials in-place.

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

Purchasers and users of chemicals must track them in Humboldt State's hazardous materials inventory system called UNHCems. Users can log in and see what other chemical managers have on hand and first ask if that user expects to use up current supplies instead of re-ordering more. This system creates a single database source to look at for all users to understand on-site quantities and provides the needed awareness to check with others before bringing new quantities to campus.

Additionally, this inventory system helps HSU comply with OSHA's Haz Com regulation by not only providing one centralized platform for all hazardous materials on campus but it is a repository for the storing and accessing of Safety Data Sheets or SDS.

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:

HSU has both internal staff and publicly available (student) electronics waste recycling programs. The staff program consists of procedures for users on campus, in consultation with Information Technology Services to determine end of life for products/materials. A work order is generated for pick-up of the material through the Facilities Management online request system. The public program mainly consists of eight collection locations spread across campus, but concentrated in high traffic areas, where students can deposit materials/items for recycling; locations contain signage assisting in the proper decisions of which materials go into the collection. Both programs have materials collected by recycling staff, who sort and aggregate them into bulk containers as specified by the contracted recycling entity at the time. The containers are shipped off to that contractor as quantities or time dictate and the Office of Sustainability receives reports of weights when the recycler processes the materials. Contracted recyclers must be licensed in the state of CA to comply with all hazardous materials regulations.

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:

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.