Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 68.06
Liaison Brad Spanbauer
Submission Date June 18, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
OP-25: Hazardous Waste Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Brian Kermath
Sustainability Director
Sustainability 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:
UWO has hazardous waste training available on campus and through D2L (Desire 2 Learn, university website where class information can be posted). Through this training, the participants are taught how to label, safely collect and dispose of hazardous waste on campus. According to the Hazardous Waste Contingency Plan training is “designed to ensure that UW Oshkosh personnel are able to respond effectively to emergencies by familiarizing themselves with emergency procedures, emergency equipment and systems and must consist (at a minimum) of the following components: Response actions for spills, Response actions for fires or explosions, Response to groundwater contamination incidents, Shutdown of operations, and Communications or alarm systems”. Hazardous waste that accumulates from campus is sent to the hazardous waste building which is inspected by Jim Johnson every week.

A brief description of how the institution safely disposes of hazardous, universal, and non-regulated chemical waste:
Because UWO is a Small Quantity Generator (SQG), there are two pickups of the hazardous waste per year which cannot exceed 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) per pickup. The waste from the university is sent to Veolia Environmental Services. In order to be a SQG, the institution cannot dispose more than 13,000 pounds per year; UWO was only responsible for 3,600 pounds last year.
Although UWO does not have a specific program in place to reduce the amount of hazardous waste that is used, the university is working to discourage certain types of chemicals as well as avoiding going beyond a certain amount. A list of the P-Listed Materials (Toxins) is given to those who work with hazardous waste (Chemistry, Biology, and Art Departments) to limit the use of the listed materials.
There is discussion about providing incentives for these departments to limit their purchases of these hazardous materials. One of the potential methods would be to charge the buyer a certain amount per pound of toxic matter. Another suggestion was to split the budget of $11,500 between the departments, and the money that they do not use on hazardous material purchases they get to keep. While this would likely be an incentive to limit waste, there is concern about the potential negative consequence of pouring the waste down the drains.

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:

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):
During the summer, UWO participates in the free Apple Recycling Program. At other times, the university works with State of Wisconsin Corrections Computer Recycling Program which is $15 per monitor; the materials sent here are either sold or scrapped. Although computers and other electronic equipment may not meet the standards set by the university, it could still be used by others off-campus. UWO sends information about what is available to area non-profits, schools, and churches. Overall, academic computing promotes the reuse of electronic materials to extend its electronic life.

A brief description of steps taken to ensure that e-waste is recycled responsibly, workers’ basic safety is protected, and environmental standards are met:
As hardware ages, it becomes more difficult to find replacement parts, newer applications will no longer run, and it becomes necessary to remove this old hardware from our support services. A list of processors that will no longer be supported is available by contacting the Help Desk. A request for the replacement of an old computer can be addressed to campus surplus by contacting the Help Desk (acshelp@uwosh.edu or (920) 424-3020). In this way, the university limits unnecessary consumption and ultimately waste by finding adequate computers on campus before resorting to outside sources.

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

Data source(s) and notes about 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.