Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 49.76
Liaison Aurora Sharrard
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Pittsburgh
OP-21: Hazardous Waste Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Keith Duval
Health and Safety
Environmental Health & 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:

1) Pitt's primary strategy is to order only the volume of chemicals that are needed. The cost of disposal of chemicals often exceeds the price of purchasing the chemical.
2) Containers are dated when received and older chemicals are to be used first.
3) Use spirit-filled thermometers instead of mercury thermometers when possible.
4) Use less hazardous or non-hazardous chemicals for experiments when possible.
5) Prepare only the amount of solutions/mixtures needed for experiments.
6) Reduce the number of unknowns by labeling all bottles/containers in lab.
7) Scale down experiments that produce hazardous waste.

These guidelines are intended to ensure that chemical users on campus are aware of the
importance of source reduction and waste minimization. Benefits of source reduction/waste minimization include increased safety of personnel, reduced risk of environmental contamination, and a decrease in chemical and waste disposal expenditures.
Pitt's Environmental Health & Safety Department has prepared and implemented a source reduction strategy which describes ways to reduce or eliminate the amount or toxicity of waste.

The following minimization activities are utilized to help reduce the amount and/or toxicity of wastes:
 Product Substitution – Use less hazardous or non-hazardous materials. Examples include substitution of enzymatic cleaners and detergents for chromic acid cleaning solutions, replacement of flammable and or toxic solvents with water based materials, replacing mercury thermometers with spirit filled or electronic thermometers, using latex paints in place of oil-based paints.
 Microscale Chemistry – Scale down techniques where possible to reduce waste.
 One More Step – When possible, all reactions should be taken one more step, if the
additional step will result in a less hazardous material without an increased safety risk.
(refer to Destruction of Hazardous Chemicals in the Laboratory by George Lunn & Eric
Sansone, 2nd Edition, 1994 (Wiley)).
 Waste Segregation – Ensure appropriate segregation. Keep non-hazardous wastes out of the hazardous waste streams.
 Education – All chemical users should attend Chemical Hygiene training. EH&S offers
additional waste minimization guidance through this program.
 Inventory – Maintain an accurate inventory of chemicals. Ensure that all containers are accurately labeled to ensure that “unknowns” are not generated.
 Chemical Redistribution – Utilize the EH&S Chemical Redistribution Program to donate
or request unused surplus chemicals.
 Purchasing Practices – Only purchase in useable amounts.
 Other Techniques – Elementary chemical neutralization, improved inventory control
practices, and good management and training are all techniques which can be utilized to minimize waste.

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

All hazardous waste, universal wastes, and non-regulated chemical wastes are disposed of via third party vendors who are licensed to transport, treat, recycle, and/or dispose of the wastes. EH&S is charged with program management regarding regulated waste disposal.

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:

The University of Pittsburgh Chemical Redistribution Program provides faculty and
staff with the opportunity to obtain chemicals free of charge. This program is currently
available to University laboratories located on the Oakland campus. The Chemical
Redistribution Program can reduce expenses for both purchasing and waste disposal.
The program emphasizes the University’s commitment to environmental protection by
reducing the overall volumes of chemical waste generated.
Faculty and staff possessing uncontaminated chemicals that are not expired may donate
these chemicals to the program. Donated chemicals can be claimed by University
faculty/staff members on an as-needed basis. EH&S will maintain an inventory of
available chemicals at www.ehs.pitt.edu.

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:

Institution-generated electronic waste is collected by the University's Surplus Property Department. Surplus Property assesses the value of the waste, and takes appropriate steps for proper handling. The waste is either refurbished for sale, donated to non-profit groups, or sent to a certified third party electronics recycling provider (ELoop).
EH&S manages the University’s “e-Waste” program. Unwanted University owned electronic assets are recycled through the e-waste program. The University’s contractor has achieved the highest industry standard for compliance by being certified to the BAN e-Steward (ISO14001) standard. Additionally, University students are provided with an opportunity to recycle personal electronic assets through the EH&S e-Waste program during RecycleMania. Drop off locations are strategically staged throughout campus.

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:
79 Tons

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

EH&S E-waste recycling records 2014 - 23 tons, 2015 - 22 tons, 2016 - 34 tons.

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.