Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 74.42
Liaison Mary-Lee Townsend
Submission Date Feb. 1, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Western University
OP-21: Hazardous Waste Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Connor Donald
Sustainability Coordinator
Facilities Management
"---" 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:

A high percentage of chemical waste at Western consists of unopened containers, therefore, Western encourages people to avoid large volume purchases, as well as sharing chemicals that might otherwise be sent for disposal.

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

When handling materials that require special attention, Western follows legislation imposed by the municipal, provincial and federal governments.

Western is currently using RPR Environmental (Responsible Chemical Waste Management) to deal with their hazardous waste. This company strives to be the leader in responsible waste management, while working with government, legal, risk management, health and safety and other professionals to ensure that all legal obligations of this industry are met.

At Western, all types of hazardous materials are collected once a week and accepted for disposal free of charge, provided that they meet the requirements outlined in the "Hazardous Materials Management Handbook".


Some of these requirements include:
- All containers in a laboratory must be completely labeled (responsibility of the individual laboratory or department).
- All hazardous waste containers must be packaged to ensure that the material cannot spill in the case of an accident.
- All labs are required to keep an inventory and labeling system in order to ensure hazardous materials are being managed effectively and safely. If not, this provides an opportunity to segregate according to their respective hazard classes.
- For safety and transportation reasons, Western’s chemical waste contractor does not accept any unidentified substances at any time. If identification of the "unknown" cannot be made, then a characterization of the waste based on physical and chemical properties is required prior to acceptance of the material by the chemical waste contractor.
- Disposal of all radioactive wastes must be in accordance with regulations under the NSC Act. Waste must be handled and disposed of in a way that prevents unreasonable risk to the public or the environment.

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 have occurred at Western in the past three years.

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

Although Western does not have a campus-wide inventory system, each laboratory on campus is required to have an up-to-date inventory of the chemicals they use, along with the updated material safety data sheets (MSDSs).

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:

Electronic waste is generated at each of our faculties and supporting units. All electronic equipment is considered the property of Western University, and as such, we ensure that any and all equipment is properly recycled. We have placed e-waste bins in most buildings on campus, where staff and faculty can drop their electronic waste. Afterwards, we have a staff member pick up all the bins and drops them in a 20 cubic yard container held in our Bayfield Parking Lot, where it is then picked up by our waste hauler to bring this to a recycling company.

Whenever there are larger equipment replacement programs, we make sure that there is enough infrastructure to bring all e-waste back to the Bayfield Parking lot for recycling.

Students can recycle electronics in some bins on campus, and we usually host an e-waste drive to recycle electronics at move-out, during the end of the academic year.

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:
45.85 Tonnes

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

Western Universities electronic waste recycler is certified under the Electronics Recycling Standard (Canadian), which has similar approaches to the R2 standards.

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.