Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 61.04
Liaison Tina Woolston
Submission Date March 1, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Tufts University
OP-21: Hazardous Waste Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Jason Erbach
Environmental Manager
Environmental Health and Safety
"---" 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:

Tufts University produces hazardous chemical waste as part of its academic and support programs. The primary sources of hazardous chemical waste are the research and teaching science and engineering laboratories. It is part of higher education to assist students in learning to identify, handle, and dispose of hazardous chemicals in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. Tufts is committed to the recommendation of the American Chemical Society "to buy less, use less" in the design of experiments involving hazardous chemicals.

Tufts University recycles all batteries as part of its universal waste program.

In support activities, water-based coatings, sealants, and cleaning products are selected preferentially over such products that contain organic solvents.

There are strict limits on the disposal of chemicals into the sewer and into solid waste containers; hence all chemical waste is analyzed and disposed of as either hazardous or non-hazardous, non-regulated waste.

Additionally, the Department of Environmental Health and Safety considers the following chemicals Particularly Hazardous Substances and requires that a written safety plan be prepared and followed when using these chemicals in vitro (in the laboratory) or in vivo (in animals).

   - Select Carcinogens
   - Reproductive Toxins
   - Highly acutely toxic chemicals or a hazardous drug
   - Novel compounds of unknown toxicity

There are also certain chemicals that need a High Hazard Chemical Registration form. This process limits the unnecessary use of these chemicals. For a more complete description of the process, see http://publicsafety.tufts.edu/ehs/?pid=88.

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

Tufts Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) department directly and indirectly provides training to all members of the Tufts community that purchase, store, handle, or dispose of chemicals. Individuals are trained to recognize each form of chemical waste and to understand the method of storing such wastes in each area where such wastes are produced.

As mandated by Tufts Environmental Health and Safety, hazardous chemical waste should be placed in a satellite accumulation area (SAA). Each point of generation (e.g. laboratory, clinic, maintenance area) should have an SAA that is under the direct supervision of trained employees. SAAs at a minimum should include a secondary containment system/bin, sign designating the area as a SAA, and be inspected weekly. A dated container requiring pick up must be transported to a main accumulation area (MAA) within 3 days of full date noted on the waste label.  Once in the MAA, the waste is ultimately prepared for shipment and transported by licensed/permitted vendor to a receiving facility approved by the US EPA and/or MassDEP.

All chemicals are stored, handled, transported, and disposed of by persons and organizations approved because of their commitment to comply with all applicable regulations that prevent adverse human and environmental effects.

Initial and annual refresher training is required for individuals who generate or participate in hazardous waste management activities.

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:


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:

Tufts complies with Massachusetts regulation of e-waste, which bans large electronic appliances from landfills. For Tufts-owned electronics, Tufts pays to have them disposed in an ethical and environmentally conscious manner.

Tufts Technology Services (TTS) Donation Program - TTS offers a donation and recycling service to safely dispose of old University-owned computers. All data is removed from computers before donation or recycling. Community Relations will match available donated computers with local organizations who have a need. Only University-owned machines can be donated or recycled.

Somerville/Medford: Drop boxes are available for small corded electronics and large electronics like computers are recycled through IT or Facilities Services.

Boston Campus: Small corded and larger electronics are recyclable through a pick-up request to Facilities Services

Grafton Campus: Drop boxes are available for small corded electronics and large electronics like computers are recycled through IT or Facilities Services.

SMFA Campus: Drop boxes and pick-up requests from Facilities Services are available for small corded electronics and large electronics like computers are recycled through IT or Facilities Services.

Additional information on recycling personal items through the manufacturer is provided:

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:
9.31 Tons

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.