Overall Rating Platinum - expired
Overall Score 85.72
Liaison Kira Stoll
Submission Date March 4, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of California, Berkeley
OP-20: Hazardous Waste Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Mikayla Tran
SDG & OS Engagement Fellow
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:
The primary incentive to reduce the generation of hazardous waste is to minimize the purchase of unnecessary or excess quantities of chemicals, since these items must eventually be disposed of as hazardous waste. UC Berkeley Environmental Health & Safety charges Principal Investigators for chemical waste disposal from their laboratories. EH&S also promotes additional waste minimization techniques by way of education and a fact sheet.

Approximately 80% of chemical waste is considered "non routine" (research, construction and maintenance) and therefore reduction strategies are difficult to implement. Non-routine wastes are excluded from California's SB 14 Waste Minimization Plan for just that reason.

A brief description of how the institution safely disposes of hazardous, universal, and non-regulated chemical waste:
All chemical waste is carefully screened to ensure it is managed safely. Any chemical waste that does not pass California's strict, multi-agency disposal criteria is considered hazardous waste and collected for disposal.

Campus researchers prepare waste for disposal and utilize an online system to request pickups. Environmental Health & Safety transports chemical waste to a state-of-the-art hazardous waste facility on campus. Technicians and specialists lab pack or otherwise manage items at the waste facility, ship them for off-site disposal and charge the cost back to the laboratory. EH&S summarizes safe and compliant chemical waste disposal procedures in a fact sheet.

Universal waste batteries are collected by individual departments throughout the campus and collected by EH&S for off-site management. All light bulbs (except incandescent) and electronic wastes are also collected for recycling. EH&S summarized these recycling procedures in a fact sheet. Other electronic waste, such as computers and monitors, is collected and managed by Campus Surplus.

A brief description of any significant hazardous material release incidents during the previous three years, including volume, impact and response/remediation:
In the previous three years, no significant hazardous material release incidents have occurred.

A brief description of any inventory system employed by the institution to facilitate the reuse or redistribution of laboratory chemicals:
The College of Chemistry generates roughly 70% of the all chemical waste on campus. The College believes that recycling of unwanted chemicals should always be the first consideration when starting the process of chemical removal. The College maintains its own in-house chemical storage and reuse facility to encourage reuse and reduce disposal costs. The College’s Chemical Reuse Facility is the repository of high quality chemicals that are free to the College of Chemistry researchers. Any chemical reagents donated to ReUse are screened for quality and potential reusability. All reagents accepted into ReUse have no disposal charges associated with them. The impressive 13,000-item reuse program is managed by a dedicated staff chemist. Approximately 3,000 items are reused within the College every year.

For the remainder of campus, The Chemical Inventory Program, coordinated by the Office of Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S), tracks and reports the storage and use of hazardous materials. The inventory assists emergency responders, provides campus users with specific hazard and storage information, aids in the sharing of chemicals, and reminds users to dispose of sensitive chemicals before they become unsafe or expensive to dispose of.


Chemicals tracks the storage and use of hazardous materials on all UC campuses. UC Berkeley is required to report that information, and these reports are compiled by EH&S. In addition, Chemicals assists emergency responders and provides all lab members with a tool with which to track hazardous items in their rooms.


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 UC Berkeley Surplus operation has teamed with the campus' Environmental Health and Safety department to contract with an electronic waste vendor for the demanufacturing of all electronic waste (E-waste) generated by or taken in at the Berkeley campus. This department handles all electronic waste such as computers, televisions, and stereos. Items sent to our E-waste vendor are taken apart and the individual components sent for remanufacturing. As a result, electronic waste items are being diverted from the landfill. Departments may not dispose of their own electronic waste items, but should send all such items to Surplus for appropriate handling.

Cal Surplus employs an IT specialist to refurbish reusable computers and peripherals. Non-reusable electronics become e-waste and are shipped to the permitted and certified e-stewards recycler. EH&S periodically (1) audits campus departments to ensure they recycle their electronics; (2) trains refuse drivers on how to identify e-waste in the trash; (3) provides stickers for garbage cans/dumpsters prohibiting disposal of e-waste into the trash; and (4) provides guidance on its web site.

The University is pleased to dispose of employee, student and community electronic waste (E-waste).


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:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
Information for this field came from the UC Berkeley Environmental Health & Safety office. The campus' electronic waste is handled by CEAR, or California Electronic Asset Recovery, which is certified under e-Stewards and Responsible Recycling. Recycling data from calendar year 2019.


Note: UCOP Policy on Sustainable Practices (Section G-10) also requires that "All recyclers of the University’s electronic equipment must be e-Steward certified by the Basel Action Network (BAN) (www.ban.org)."

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.