Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.33
Liaison Brad Spanbauer
Submission Date Jan. 29, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
OP-21: 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:

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.
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.
Lamps and ballasts are removed by qualified personnel, held on site in appropriate containers and collected annually by a lamp recycling vendor. The campus replaces spent lamps with low mercury alternatives.
Non-alkaline batteries are collected from academic departments and business units for recycling. (not sure about res-life)
The campus is committed to replacing mercury containing devices and reagents whenever possible. Over the last two years we have removed more than 30 kg of mercury and mercury containing products from campus laboratories.

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

The University has a permit to transport and dump all coal ash at the Outagamie County Landfill. Coal ash from our plant does not meet the criteria for beneficial reuse. Universal and non-regulated chemical waste is packaged and processed by our hazardous waste vendor.
Non-regulated chemical wastes are disposed of in accordance with the regulations provided by the City of Oshkosh POTW if aqueous based or via the Outagamie county landfill if in solid form.

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

There have been no release incidents in the past year.

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

Many experiments in our general chemistry lab courses have been redesigned to eliminate hazardous materials. Several of our organic chemistry lab courses have been designed around green chemistry principles.
Hazardous wastes generated in laboratories may be treated/neutralized in lab, collected by qualified personnel and co-mingled for use in fuels blending or and picked up by a certified vendor. Unwanted chemicals that are still useful are collected and redistributed whenever possible. Furthermore, the campus uses chemical inventory management software to minimize extraneous purchases and bulk buying.

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:

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.

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:
6.33 Tons

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives 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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.