Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.82
Liaison Kimberly Reeves
Submission Date Feb. 20, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Colorado Colorado Springs
OP-25: Hazardous Waste Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Cynthia Norton
Chemical Management
Public Safety Department - 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:

UCCS is subject to regulation by the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment (CDPHE) with respect to all solid waste management issues. UCCS has developed the Lab Safety Manual which reflects the University’s practices with regards to solid waste management.

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

Hazardous Wastes

All wastes generated on campus are evaluated to determine if they are classified as hazardous waste. Those materials which are hazardous waste are managed in accordance with CDPHE requirements including:

• Minimizing releases to the environment by proper storage and handling procedures
• Off-site disposal at EPA approved treatment, storage and disposal facilities

UCCS segregates waste streams in an attempt to broaden our disposal options such as participating in fuel blending programs for non-halogenated solvents and incineration programs.

In addition, UCCS encourages labs to minimize the amount of hazardous waste being generated by reducing both the volume and toxicity of materials utilized on campus. We have some labs engaged in green chemistry. Likewise, our custodial staffs have predominantly converted to green cleaning products.

We encourage labs to reutilize, to the extent it is safe, empty reagent containers for their waste collection. Excess empty containers are placed in our single stream recycling program.

The campus does maintain an inventory of hazardous materials present on campus. If excess hazardous materials are submitted during the hazardous waste collection process, attempts are made to find alternative users for that material before it is disposed of as hazardous waste.

Non-regulated Hazardous Materials

UCCS treats non-regulated hazardous materials in a manner similar to hazardous waste. Disposal of any hazardous material into the trash is strictly forbidden. UCCS works with our hazardous waste disposal contractor to manage and properly dispose of non-regulated hazardous materials.

UCCS has a robust copy and printer toner/ink recycling program. This program includes selling some used toner/inks, returning some to the manufacturer for recycling and/or sending to an offsite recycler for material recovery.

Biological Wastes

UCCS segregates its biological waste streams into those that can be treated on-site and those which require off-site treatment and disposal. Those waste streams which can be treated via autoclave are treated on-site and then managed as solid waste. Sharps and other biological waste streams which cannot be treated via autoclave are collected and disposed of off-site via a Colorado registered Biohazardous Disposal Company. Generally these go for incineration.

Universal Wastes

There are a variety of materials which fall under the universal waste category. UCCS manages each of them as noted below. Much of this information can be found in the Office of Sustainability’s website http://www.uccs.edu/sustain/operations/reducing-waste.html.

Aerosol Cans

Aerosol cans which are not empty have to be treated as hazardous wastes and fall under the hazardous waste procedures previously noted. Those aerosol cans which are empty are placed in our single stream recycling program since they are metal.


The Office of Sustainability recycles all battery types on campus. These batteries are recycled through Blue Star Recyclers (http://www.bluestarrecyclers.com/). Batteries are collected at recycling locations positioned throughout the campus. These recycling locations are open for both campus generated wastes as well as for students to place their self-generated batteries into the bins.

Electronics (devices, components, cell phones, etc.)

The Office of Sustainability recycles/disposes of all electronic devices and components on campus. Again there are collection locations throughout the campus where both university generated small electronics and student generated electronics can be placed for pick-up. Larger electronics (computers, monitors, etc.) are managed through our facilities organization for ultimate recycling. UCCS has a policy on e-waste which specifically states that we will utilize only e-Steward certified facilities for our recycling. In addition, the Office of Sustainability works with our recycling company Blue Star Recyclers to promote and support community wide disposal days for electronic waste.
1.5.4 Lamps/Fluorescent Bulbs, CFLs

Facilities collects and manages all fluorescent bulbs, CFL bulbs, etc. on campus. This includes green-tipped lamps. These bulbs are crushed in an EPA approved bulb crusher with an approved mercury vapor filtration system. The crushed materials are then sent off-site for recovery.

Used Oil

All used oil generated on the UCCS campus whether from laboratory equipment or vehicle fleet is sent for oil recycling through a contract provider. This includes the oil, fuel, transmission and other fluid filters. These filters are properly drained and sent for metal recovery.

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

Over the past 3 years, UCCS has not experienced any significant releases of hazardous materials to the environment.

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

Any unused chemicals in the labs are stored and reused for future labs or classes. Individuals who use, store or handle chemicals are responsible for submitting an annual inventory to the Environmental Health and Safety Office.

Does the institution have or participate in a program to responsibly recycle, reuse, and/or refurbish all 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):

UCCS collects electronic waste in numerous locations on campus and this material is delivered to Blue Star Recyclers, an e-Steward certified recycler.
Electronics Recycling Policy

UCCS also collects and sorts batteries to be recycled through Blue Star Recyclers.
Toner Cartridges are also collected for recycling and proceeds are distributed to the staff governance group.

A brief description of steps taken to ensure that e-waste is recycled responsibly, workers’ basic safety is protected, and environmental standards are met:

BlueStar Recyclers invests in the labor-intensive process of disassembling and de-manufacturing to divert all materials from landfills and incinerators. Blue Star Recyclers guarantees it does not export hazardous waste material; it does not landfill or incinerate hazardous waste material.
BlueStar Recyclers is certified under the eSteward certification and ISO 14001 standard, which addresses quality in environmental management certification.

The website URL where information about the institution’s hazardous and electronic-waste recycling programs is available:

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.