Overall Rating Reporter
Overall Score
Liaison Chelsea Hamilton
Submission Date March 4, 2022

STARS v2.2

Vanderbilt University
OP-20: Hazardous Waste Management

Status Score Responsible Party
-- Reporter Chelsea Hamilton
Sustainability Outreach Coordinator
Sustainability and Environmental Management 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?:
Yes

A brief description of steps taken to reduce hazardous, special (e.g. coal ash), universal, and non-regulated chemical waste:

Vanderbilt Environmental Health and Safety (VEHS) has implemented a Chemical Redistribution Program to redistribute unwanted, useable chemicals from one laboratory to another instead of disposing of them as hazardous waste. Laboratories should attempt to substitute non-hazardous or less toxic materials into their processes and experiments whenever possible. Laboratories should periodically evaluate their chemical inventory and dispose of unwanted/obsolete chemicals and purchase only the quantity of chemicals required for specific projects. To the extent that it does not affect vital research or teaching, laboratories should modify experiments to decrease the quantity of hazardous chemicals used and generated. Spilled chemicals and the materials used to clean up the spills must be disposed of as hazardous waste. Labs use good housekeeping practices to minimize the likelihood of a spill, which can reduce the amount of hazardous waste generated.

Vanderbilt previously recycled coal ash waste product, generated during the burning of coal in the on-campus, co-generation power plant, through an arrangement with a cement manufacturer in Chattanooga. Ash is an important feedstock for cement manufacturing. As of November 19, 2014, Vanderbilt no longer produces coal ash because the power plant no longer uses coal.

Universal Wastes are, by EPA definition, hazardous waste unless they are recycled. This category of recycled waste includes used batteries, pesticides, mercury-containing equipment (thermostats) and mercury-containing bulbs (lamps). Universal Wastes generated at Vanderbilt include electronic wastes and computers, lighting ballasts, mercury-containing thermostats and switches, mercury-containing bulbs, fluorescent bulbs, HID & LED bulbs, UV bulbs, projector bulbs, compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs), lead-acid batteries, nickel-cadmium batteries, lithium ion batteries, nickel metal hydride batteries, alkaline batteries, and pesticides. In 2016, Vanderbilt recycled 60.96 tons of e-waste, 22.86 tons of batteries, 4.56 tons of ballasts, and 2.56 tons of used lamps.


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

Vanderbilt Environmental Health and Safety (VEHS) collects hazardous waste directly from laboratories, and hazardous waste such as aerosol cans, expired paint, etc. from operational areas. All hazardous wastes must be disposed of through the VEHS Hazardous Waste Collection Program. All universal wastes and e-wastes are recycled.


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

None


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

Personnel, including laboratory personnel, who use or store chemicals at Vanderbilt University, are required to maintain a chemical inventory for compliance with various safety and environmental regulations, and to provide critical information to responders during an emergency. To assist chemical users at Vanderbilt in meeting this requirement, VEHS provides Vanderbilt employees and students free access to the ChemTracker Chemical Inventory Management System. Authorized ChemTracker users have the ability to update chemical inventory information, prepare inventory reports, and obtain chemical safety information. Vanderbilt Environmental Health and Safety (VEHS) has implemented a Chemical Redistribution Program to redistribute unwanted, useable chemicals from one laboratory to another instead of disposing of them as hazardous waste.


Does the institution have or participate in a program to responsibly recycle, reuse, and/or refurbish electronic waste generated by the institution?:
Yes

Does the institution have or participate in a program to responsibly recycle, reuse, and/or refurbish electronic waste generated by students?:
Yes

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 Vanderbilt Electronics Recycling Program is a mechanism for recycling of equipment such as monitors, CPUs, keyboards, printers, fax machines, cell phones, tablets, mp3 players, and other electronic equipment such as TVs and microwaves. All electronic equipment will be accepted, regardless of its condition or brand. All parts of the electronics system will be accepted (laptops, printers, keyboards, CPU towers, cords, and monitors).

If the equipment is in good working condition, it will be redistributed, sold, or donated, if possible. If the equipment is unusable, it is shipped to an electronics recycling facility that disassembles or shreds the electronics, segregates the parts, and recycles the materials. In 2016, Vanderbilt recycled 60.96 tons of e-waste.

Universal Wastes are, by EPA definition, hazardous waste unless they are recycled. This category of recycled waste includes used batteries, pesticides, mercury-containing equipment (thermostats) and mercury-containing bulbs (lamps). Universal Wastes generated at Vanderbilt include electronic and computer waste (e-waste), lighting ballasts, mercury-containing thermostats and switches, mercury-containing bulbs, fluorescent bulbs, HID & LED bulbs, UV bulbs, projector bulbs, compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs), lead-acid batteries, nickel-cadmium batteries, lithium ion batteries, nickel metal hydride batteries, alkaline batteries, and pesticides. In 2016, Vanderbilt recycled 90.94 tons of Universal Wastes.


Is the institution’s electronic waste recycler certified under the e-Stewards and/or Responsible Recycling (R2) standards?:
Yes

Website URL where information about the institution’s hazardous waste program is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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