Overall Rating Bronze
Overall Score 40.97
Liaison Sherri Mason
Submission Date June 30, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Penn State Erie, The Behrend College
OP-21: Hazardous Waste Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Sherri Mason
Sustainability Coordinator
School of Science
"---" 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:

Penn State has had a policy requiring the reduction in volume or toxicity of hazardous waste since 1988. It specifies that "Departments that generate hazardous chemical wastes shall ensure that a waste reduction program is in effect and that it is being adhered to." The policy lists examples of ways to reduce waste by "making substitutions, purchasing smaller quantities, implementing a chemical inventory to prevent duplication, and integrating microscale techniques in inorganic and organic chemistry labs". The Senior Vice President for Finance and Business establishes and approves the policy and procedure for hazardous waste disposal within the environment of The Pennsylvania State University. See http://guru.psu.edu/policies/SY20.html
PSU also has several other policies that reduce universal and other non regulated waste. Other steps taken to reduce waste include:
- Chemical redistribution program
- Mercury Thermometer and Barometer exchange with non-hazardous equivalents
- Battery recycling
- Fluorescent bulb recycling
- Implemented university-wide chemical inventory software
- Microscale chemical use in all undergraduate chemical lab classes
- Laboratory chemical cleanouts
- Pesticide Program
- Solvent distillation units

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

The University is required, by regulation 25 PA Code Ch. 260 a - 262 a and by Environmental Protection Agency regulation 40 CFR 260-262 to ensure the proper disposition of hazardous wastes. Proper handling of reaction by products, surplus and waste chemicals, and contaminated materials is an important part of safety procedures. Each worker is responsible for ensuring that wastes are handled in a manner that minimizes personal exposure and the potential for environmental contamination.

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

No significant incidents

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

PSU has implemented a university-wide, mandatory chemical inventory system – CHIMS. This is a software package purchased through Stanford. In addition, PSU coordinates a successful chemical redistribution program where faculty, through email, are provided a list of chemicals available from other laboratories. The University also encourages faculty that are leaving the University to give chemicals they are leaving behind to their colleagues at Penn State, as part of our laboratory close-out procedure.

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:

Lion Surplus hosts an annual Electronics Recycling Day where faculty, staff, and students have the opportunity to drop off their used electronics for disposal in an environmentally safe manner.

Penn State Lion Surplus is responsible for the collection, sale and/or disposal of University-owned equipment, supplies and/or materials - including electronics - which have become obsolete, surplus or scrap to the needs of any University department. Items are disposed through resale, transfer to another department, or recycling. Some computers are sold through an on-site Computer Auction. Items that cannot be reused are sent to a certified recycler, currently Arcoa.

Is the institution’s electronic waste recycler certified under the e-Stewards and/or Responsible Recycling (R2) standards?:

Electronic waste recycled or otherwise diverted from the landfill or incinerator during the most recent year for which data is available during the previous three years:

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives 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.