Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.45
Liaison Justin Mog
Submission Date March 4, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Louisville
OP-20: Hazardous Waste Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Cathy Price
Haz Materials & Environ Mgr
Facilities-Env Hlth & 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:

UofL's Department of Environmental Health & Services (DEHS) promotes (via its website and through on-site training to University maintenance, support, research and clinical personnel) that the best method for chemical waste minimization in laboratories and clinical areas is for each lab, clinic or work area to keep an up-to-date chemical or product inventory control. Product substitution with a non-toxic or less hazardous chemical is also encouraged; examples below. Chemical purchases are often reduced by borrowing and sharing chemicals between laboratories. Departments are encouraged to exchange chemicals whenever possible.

Product substitution: DEHS encourages work areas to substitute hazardous chemicals to less toxic or non-toxic when feasible. Examples include:
-Replace mercury containing thermometers with non-mercury type
-Labs doing electrophoresis, replace toxic ethidium bromide gels with safer non-mutagenic gels
-Labs using radioactive materials, replace flammable and/or toxic containing scintillation counting fluors with non- flammable, aqueous-based fluors.
-Physical Plant replace old ballasts (containing DEHP) with electronic ballasts (which can be recycled as e-scrap)
-Physical Plant has started replacement of fluorescent lighting with LED. LED lamps will last longer and require less replacement
-Physical Plant Custodial Services uses Green-seal certified cleaning products

The DEHS chemical redistribution program allows lab personnel to identify chemicals that are only partially used and have not exceeded their shelf life or been altered in any way. Some chemicals may be unused and still in the original sealed container. In some cases, these chemicals can be used by someone else at the University. Reusable chemicals collected by DEHS are brought to the central accumulation area, recorded, segregated, and held for redistribution instead of disposal. Each chemical may be reviewed prior to acceptance. The person who receives the chemical is responsible to determine the suitability of the chemical for their use.

As briefly mentioned above, in May 2010, DEHS initiated the mercury thermometer exchange program in which UofL employees were encouraged to exchange mercury thermometers for free less-toxic replacements. DEHS ensures that the mercury thermometers were then disposed of properly and the mercury was recycled. The US EPA has identified mercury as one of their waste minimization priority chemicals, making the reduction of mercury a priority.

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

DEHS has developed a Disposal Guide, available on line at https://louisville.edu/dehs/waste-program to provide assistance to University personnel in the proper handling and disposal of waste chemicals, or chemical products in the laboratory. Although the guide was specifically written to outline procedures for chemical wastes, it also contains valuable information on many other types of wastes (i.e., radioactive, infectious, asbestos, PCBs, gas cylinders, empty containers, controlled drugs, and waste oils).

Hazardous Waste Training is required of any and all University personnel who may come into contact with or handle hazardous waste in the laboratory setting. This training is required within the first 90-days of employment and should be refreshed every three years.

All labs where hazardous wastes are generated and managed at the University of Louisville are considered satellite accumulation areas. This is a regulatory designation which allows generators in these areas to operate under the minimum of regulatory oversight. As such, the following five points are all that generators need to know to operate in compliance with the law. It is critical that generators know and understand these points and that they manage their waste in accordance with them:
•The container holding the hazardous waste MUST BE marked with the words "Hazardous Waste". No variation of these words is permissible.
•The container holding the hazardous waste must be in good condition. This means no cracks, no rust, and no leaks.
•The container holding the hazardous waste must be compatible with the waste and any waste mixtures in that container must also be compatible.
•The container holding the hazardous waste must be closed at ALL TIMES. The only exception to this is when waste is being added to or removed from the container.
•Accumulation of hazardous waste in any satellite accumulation area cannot exceed 55 gallons at any time. If the area accumulates acutely hazardous waste, one quart is the maximum amount allowed to be accumulated. A list of the acutely hazardous wastes is available from DEHS. University personnel are able to request chemical waste pick-up by DEHS online at https://louisville.edu/dehs/waste/disposal.html.

All chemical wastes generated by UofL operations and activities are transported and stored at the DEHS managed Environmental Protection Services Center (EPSC), located at 1810 Arthur Street, Louisville, KY. The Kentucky Division of Waste Management approved the renewal of the hazardous waste management permit (KYO-001-012-012) to the EPSC effective on September 30, 2009.

The EPSC receives waste and stores and/or treats it for eventual shipment to a permitted off-site treatment, storage, or disposal facility. The EPSC also manages such non-hazardous wastes as:
•Mixed waste
•Polychlorinated Biphenyls
•Waste Oils
•Pesticides/Herbicides not specifically listed or characterized in 40 CFR 261
•Off-spec or out-dated pharmaceuticals
•Off-spec or out-dated chemicals not specifically listed in 40 CFR 261 or characteristically hazardous.

Several routine operations are required for the proper handling and shipment as well as control of the waste minimization program and disposal costs. Operations utilized at the EPSC may include, but are not limited to the following:
•Addition of absorbents to containers for shipment.
•Lab packing of wastes for shipment to an off-site facility for disposal or treatment.
•Blending/bulking of compatible materials into larger containers for eventual shipment off-site for disposal or treatment.
•Stabilization of reactives on a case-by-case basis for storage or shipment off-site.

DEHS solicits proposals to effect the contractual packaging, transportation and management of chemical and hazardous wastes which are generated at all UofL sites. Management of chemical and hazardous wastes is accomplished through recycling plus disposal or disposal (i.e., incineration). The current selected contractor, Pollution Control Industries (PCI) is a company that is familiar with and adheres to all of the federal, state and local regulations pertaining to hazardous wastes. The contract term is for the period on one year beginning on the date of award with an option to renew for up to four additional one-year periods, all parties concurring. The acquisition of these services is made by competitive negotiation procedures in accordance with KRS 45A.085. Contractor evaluation criteria include: previous hazardous waste disposal projects; recycling/disposal facilities owned, operated and controlled by the contractor; actual waste recycling or disposal options, i.e. recycling, fuels blending, incineration, or innovative new technologies; ability to handle all waste streams/use of subcontractors to handle individual waste streams; proven experience with handling wastes at other colleges and/or Universities; schedule of standard fees; previous regulatory compliance issues, federal and state violations and subsequent corrective actions and outcomes; and financial responsibility and liability for services.

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:

-Department of Environmental Health & Safety (DEHS) staff collect upon request from university work areas, all types of used battery types and used lamps. These items are recycled through licensed and permitted recycling facilities.
-Central Receiving staff collect upon request from university work areas, used ink and toner cartridges. These items are recycled through licensed recycling facility.

-Laboratory waste at the University of Louisville is managed through the Environmental Protection Services Center, which is a unit within the Department of Environmental Health and Safety. Once a laboratory declares a material surplus or waste, the Hazardous Waste Coordinator will determine if the surplus or waste material can be redistributed to another laboratory instead of being disposed of as waste. The Hazardous Waste Coordinator evaluates the surplus material and attempts to find laboratories that would like the surplus material. The chemical is then provided to that laboratory as long as the material can be beneficially reused. Any materials that cannot be redistributed within six months is disposed of as waste.
-When a Principal Investigator (PI) leaves the university, unused hazardous chemicals cannot remain in the lab space. DEHS recommends that the PI conduct an “open house” to see if others can reuse chemicals. This diverts the hazardous chemical from being managed as a hazardous waste because it is unwanted.
-On occasions when hazardous chemical containers have been opened, most research do not want to reuse due to risk of trace contamination or lapsed shelf-life, DEHS staff will facilitate reuse opportunity to teaching labs.

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:

UofL's E-Waste recycling program is handled by UofL Surplus (1901 S Floyd St., 502-852-6131); attempting to responsibly handle e-waste through multiple reuse and recycling initiatives.
UofL's E-Scrap recycling program accepts items such as televisions, computer hard drives, monitors, keyboards, and printers, lap tops, and other audio/visual/electrical equipment. These items contain toxins and reusable components which should be kept out of the normal waste stream. As of November 2015, all these E-Scrap items are recycled by PowerHouse Recycling in Salisbury, NC (https://www.powerhouserecycling.com/). Their goal is to be a zero landfill facility. UofL pays no shipping costs and receives a modest per-pound payment for most items. UofL pays per-pound to recycle non-flat screen TVs and CRT monitors. In sum, E-waste recycling generates a modest amount of revenue for UofL. For example, our August 2016 truck load generated $3,576 in revenue for UofL.
UofL also has a Printer Cartridge Recycling program.
Other e-waste reuse programs, including the Scholar House, No Child Left Offline, UofL’s contract with Louisville Metro Government recycling and Verizon Wireless HopeLine, offer the UofL community the opportunity to recycle or give new life to old computers and cell phones.

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:

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.