Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.04
Liaison Thomas Adams
Submission Date July 30, 2021

STARS v2.2

National University of Ireland, Galway
OP-20: Hazardous Waste Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Dean Pearce
Head of Facilities Management and Services
Buildings Offices
"---" 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 attached document is the School of Chemistry's "Chemical Agents Inventories" policy document. The following is an abstract:

Chemical safety requires that there is a complete record of the chemicals held in the University. The aim of this policy is to introduce a system which requires Schools and Units to prepare, maintain and return an inventory of all chemicals held. The inventory will specify the location of chemicals and also the staff member in control of that space (typically a Principal Investigator or the person in charge of a teaching laboratory). The Inventory will be maintained locally and updated on a School/Unit wide basis periodically and this to be at least annually. The Inventory will be used to monitor the movement of chemicals and to control the end of life cycle and disposal of chemicals and their ultimate destination/destruction on completion of a project or retirement of a staff member in control of the space in which they are contained. In addition to the immediate safety improvement there are additional benefits to this chemical inventory stock control, quality and the more efficient use of limited resources including staff time, specialist storage arrangements and financial.

As part of Galway Green Labs programme and the new Procurement Framework, seek to reduce single-use laboratory plastics and promote the use of green products/alternatives. Substitute single-use plastic with other reusable materials and work with supplier to reduce packaging plastic.

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

Head of School/Unit ensure the following:
- Annual return of the Chemical Inventory to the Health & Safety Office.
- Confirming the safe disposal/reassignment of chemical samples left at end of project or before the retirement of a staff member.

Chemical disposal/handover:
The inventory will be used to plan for end of project or retirement of staff. Where a project is coming to an end or a staff member is coming up to retirement the Inventory will be used to identify chemicals which will be left in need of disposal. The purchase of chemicals will always involve planning for the
disposal cost of the chemicals or waste products derived there from and this will form part of the funding model for all projects. Depending on local arrangements and project budget expiry, a reserve budget option may need to be implemented where chemicals will need to be disposed after the project funding has ceased . No build-up of older chemicals must be allowed in Units as this presents a significant chemical hazard. The Head of School/Unit will ask the staff member to confirm all chemicals have been disposed of at the end of the project or prior to leaving their post. Planning for disposal will begin several months in advance. Where chemicals are of use to others in the unit responsibility can be transferred by agreement by changing designation in the inventory.

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


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

Head of School/Unit ensure the following:
- Preparation of and maintenance of chemical inventory for their School

HOS Nominee is responsible for:
Preparation of, maintenance and annual return to the Safety Office of chemical inventory for the School or Unit

PI or other person in charge of chemicals:
- Control of chemical sub-inventory.
- Planning and arranging for disposal of chemical agents

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:

The disposal of WEEE is licensed in accordance with the Waste Management (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) Regulations of 2005 and the subsequent Amendment 2008.

Generally, most WEEE would be removed by Buildings & Estates Facilities Services team to a holding area where it is collected once a month by our Waste Management service provider and disposed of in accordance with the aforementioned legislation. However, depending on the size/weight of an individual item or the volume of multiple items of WEEE concerned arrangements may differ. In the event that the Facilities Services team anticipate difficulties or unnecessary expenditure removing WEEE to the holding area, a separate once off collection from source may be arranged with a waste management contractor and as a result the unit disposing of the equipment may incur the cost of this work.

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:

Hazardous waste has never been fully scoped out in terms of volumes and categorisation on an institution level. Many schools have their own robust procedures but there is no uniform approach, consistent labelling or best practice agreed centrally.

Since this realization, a discussion has been held on setting up a temporary wider working group including some CTO's proposed by contacts from the HSO to establish what is happening in each unit.

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.