Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.48
Liaison Andrew Iacona
Submission Date Sept. 28, 2020

STARS v2.2

Northern Arizona University
OP-20: Hazardous Waste Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Matthew Muchna
Sustainability Manager
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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:

Sustainability and good chemical hygiene practices are presented in the Universities’ Chemical Hygiene, Hazardous Waste, and Hazard Communication Training Programs. These trainings are required for NAU employees and students who work with chemicals. NAU Chemical Hygiene Training specifically points out the importance of substitution, reduction, and reclamation. Substituting out hazardous/environmentally damaging chemicals for environmentally friendly reagents where available; reducing chemical usage/buying habits that result in unwanted product; and recycling solvents where applicable are a primary focus in the program. In addition, the Hazardous Waste Program is building an in-house redistribution center that will take unwanted new product from laboratories and aim to redistribute said chemicals to other users on campus, free of charge.

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

All hazardous and universal wastes are disposed of according to federal law. A licensed Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facility processes all hazardous waste and Universal waste is recycled by licensed vendors. NAU personnel involved in the collection, disposal, and transport of hazardous and universal wastes are trained accordingly to ensure employee safety.
Environmental Health and Safety reviews the hazards of all chemical waste and dictates the least environmentally damaging disposal route. A significant amount of non-regulated waste generated on campus is sent to a RCRA permitted TSDF rather than drain disposed or city landfilled (despite the cost), with the intent of being good stewards to the environment. A good example of such a practice is the disposal of Sodium Polytungstate waste; EPA, DOT, TSCA, etc. do not regulate this chemical but it is toxic to aquatic life. NAU EHS sends this waste to our RCRA permitted TSDF for disposal, rather than to our local landfill.

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

Date: 9/16/2019
Time: 8:45 AM
Release: Diesel
Amount: ~20 gallons
On September 6, 2019 at approximately 0845 hours, Quality Custom Delivery was transporting foodstuffs to NAU’s dining services south of the Union. During the process, QCD’s driver backed into a concrete pillar. The vehicles diesel tank ruptured and 20 gallons of diesel was spilled across the pavement. Flagstaff Fire Department and NAU Police Department arrived on scene first, followed by EHS personnel at 0900 hours. Several tractor buckets of dirt were spread on and nearby the diesel to stop it from spreading. In addition, EHS adsorbed any remaining diesel with vermiculite. After soaking up as much of the diesel from the asphalt and concrete as possible, all adsorbents were containerized. The diesel did not reach the storm drain and had no adverse effect on the surrounding environment, outside of staining the concrete/asphalt at the accident site. The diesel-contaminated solids were then sent to our permitted hazardous waste TSDF for treatment and disposal.

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

In addition to the response to questions two listed above, EHS is currently working with both the NAU Custodial team and NAU Property Surplus to redistribute and sell unused, environmentally friendly chemical cleaners that are safe for reuse by the public.

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:

E-waste is generated from all faculty/staff. Property Surplus recycles old computers, laptops, microwaves, etc. through a licensed e-waste vendor.

The electronic waste program at NAU comprises a couple of steps. Unwanted electronics are first sent to NAU Property Surplus. There are collection points for electronic waste materials located in the dormitories on campus. At the end of each year when the dormitories are vacated, any unwanted and unclaimed materials are turned over to NAU Property Surplus. Surplus then determines if items are sellable to the public as surplus property or not. If it is determined that the equipment cannot be sold through surplus it is sent to an E-scrap pile housed in the NAU surplus facility (all computers must be wiped before selling or scrapping). The e-scrap is then placed on a pallet, once enough pallets have been collected, an E-Scrap auction is held for individuals that are interested in buying pallets of electronic components; scrap computers, etc. by the lot. If there are no buyers for the scrap pallets, they are then sent to a recycling company.

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:

Information provided by: Sarah.Ells@nau.edu;
Debra.Russel - Email Jessica Turner

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.