Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 59.36
Liaison Laura Minchella
Submission Date July 30, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Sydney
OP-20: Hazardous Waste Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 1.00 Zoe Morrison
Strategy Advisor
Strategy Office
"---" 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:

We are committed to the safe and environmentally responsible management of hazardous waste. Where possible, the generation of hazardous waste is actively avoided. Where this is not possible, the volume of hazardous waste generated is minimised and the waste is handled in accordance with relevant legislation and established best practice.

University Guidelines require waste generators to plan their waste management prior to commencing a project. They are encouraged to consider if the work is necessary, if the hazardous nature could be reduced, and if the scale/volume of the waste be reduced.

Waste generators are also encouraged to check the University’s chemical register to see if a chemical can be borrowed rather than purchased.

Certain highly hazardous or regulated materials are flagged for high level safety approval as part of the purchasing process, ensuring that the local areas are notified and can check appropriate waste streams are in place prior to the order.

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

The University engages an independent waste contractor to safely dispose of hazardous waste.
Waste generators are required to collect chemical waste in appropriate Dangerous Goods approved containers and log the waste in the University’s inventory system. This ensures accurate records of the type of waste, the location of the waste and the waste generator. Chemical waste manifests are generated from the inventory system fortnightly and sent to the contractor for processing and collection.

Biological waste is treated onsite where possible (either through autoclaving or chemical treatment) then appropriately disposed of depending on waste type and risk. This may involve discharge to sewer for autoclaved liquid culture waste, or collection by a hazardous waste contractor for further processing and disposal.

Low level radioactive waste has a specific activity less than 100 Becquerels per gram (Bq/g). This waste can be disposed of via the University's Hazardous Waste program with request for disposal supported by a signed Radiation Waste Activity Statement. Radioactive waste with a specific activity greater than 100 Bq/g, but a total actively less than the Schedule Limit for the specific radionuclide may be disposed with approval from the Radiation Safety Committee. Approval must be sought in the project planning stage.

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

No significant hazardous material release incidents reported in the last 3 years

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

The University has a formal inventory system to track chemicals across all campuses - MyLab. All chemicals are required to be entered into the inventory system and are tagged with an individual barcode. The system records the chemical details, date of creation, owner, and location. All subsequent movements of the chemical are recorded in the system, building a container history. Disposal of containers is also recorded.

The inventory is searchable by owner, location, key word, and/or hazard. The container owner’s contact details are visible in the system, to facilitate collaboration and sharing of materials.

The inventory system is linked to the hazardous material purchasing process and will automatically display local inventory results that match the purchasing search criteria. This is to highlight existing inventory and discourage duplication of chemical stores.

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 University provides comprehensive e-waste recycling for staff which includes:
* Computer monitors,
* TVs,
* PCs / servers / laptops
* Keyboard and mouse
* Speakers
* Mixed cables
* AV equipment (CD/DVD/VHS)
Additionally battery and mobile phone recycling is open to staff and students.
There is no formal e-waste recycling program for students, however the University ran an e-waste recycling event for students in 2019 and will incorporate further events in the annual Sustainability Week event.

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.