Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 70.76
Liaison Richard Johnson
Submission Date Oct. 13, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Rice University
OP-21: Hazardous Waste Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Ansley Jones
Sustainability Summer Intern
Admin. Center for Sustainability and Energy Management
"---" 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?:
Yes

A brief description of steps taken to reduce hazardous, special (e.g. coal ash), universal, and non-regulated chemical waste:

As a part of source reduction, Rice has increased lab inspection frequency to reduce and prevent the accumulation of unwanted and outdated hazardous chemicals. Waste management systems are in place with specific, heavy waste producing labs, to focus the minimization efforts.

To reduce the waste, Rice has decreased the volume of hazardous gases purchased at one time to prevent over excess of materials. The lab personnel are instructed to return their gas cylinders to the manufacturer as opposed to conventional disposal methods. All staff is required to watch a better lab practices video which includes methods to reduce waste generation as well as energy conservation.


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

Rice University works with a waste contractor that collects the waste and properly disposes of it. We also have an internal renew program by collecting inventory of what professors keep what chemicals in the event that a lab is shut down, other professors can use those materials as opposed to disposing of all chemicals.


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

We have had none.


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

The BioSciences Research Collaborative has a barcode system in place for all chemicals that tracks the lifespan of the chemicals and alerts staff of pick up for chemicals that have been used up.


Does the institution have or participate in a program to responsibly recycle, reuse, and/or refurbish electronic waste generated by the institution?:
Yes

Does the institution have or participate in a program to responsibly recycle, reuse, and/or refurbish electronic waste generated by students?:
Yes

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 IT department at Rice University has created a program that handles university-wide electronic waste. The department has developed a hotline that staff and faculty can call for the IT to pick up their electronic waste. If the waste contains data such as hard drives, they will then erase all of the data on-site. Once the data is erased, they have partnered with local recycling programs that meet environmental and fair labor regulations who collect the waste and recycle it responsibly. That program will then sell the scraps and the university will receive a portion of the profit as a kickback to further the recycling program.

The Rice Environmental Club started the Electronic waste recycling program which allows students to drop off their used electronics which are then transported to a certified recycler. Specifically, the Environmental Club hosts the drive in partnership with a Houston electronic recycling company, CompuCycle, as part of its "WhatIf" campaign. The campaign aims to collect and recycle 500,000 pounds of e-waste to aid the clients of Easter Seals Greater Houston, an organization that serves people with both physical and mental disabilities. CompuCycle will provide permanent employment positions to Easter Seals Greater Houston’s clients, and Easter Seals will provide initial training courses to its clients to teach necessary job skills, including recycling, refurbishing computers and electronic products, and basic computer proficiency. Thus, funds from Rice's processed electronics go toward the Easter Seals training program.


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

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:
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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.