Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.40
Liaison Parker Long
Submission Date Aug. 27, 2021

STARS v2.2

Virginia Commonwealth University
OP-20: Hazardous Waste Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Parker Long
Sustainability Reporting and Outreach Coordinator
Facilities Management - Office of Sustainability
"---" 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:
VCU Hazardous Waste Management Program This program is designed to manage hazardous waste produced by the university and hospital. Environmental Health and Safety – Safety and Risk Management (EHS-SRM) administers this program to handle and dispose of waste according to regulatory requirements, to protect student and employee health, and to protect the environment. Hazardous waste disposal methods employed by EHS-SRM meet or exceed regulatory requirements established by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The information in this document details VCU’s hazardous waste management program. Waste Minimization Waste minimization is a fundamental method of reducing escalating disposal costs and burden to the environment. There are a number of ways in which those who generate chemical wastes can help in the chemical waste minimization effort. Some useful waste minimization practices include the following: - Reduce the amount of chemicals ordered to decrease disposal of expired chemicals. - One important aspect of a chemical waste management program is implementing the “less is better” concept. This concept is directed at buying only quantities of materials that will be readily consumed. - Consolidate compatible chemical wastes. - Waste materials should be consolidated to the extent possible to reduce the number of containers to be disposed of. - CAUTION: Only chemicals that are compatible with each other may be consolidated into one container. - Do not abandon chemicals in laboratories dispose of chemical waste as needed. - University guidelines and procedures dictate that departing researchers are responsible for coordinating with their departments to remove and/or recycle any materials remaining in the laboratory. - Consult EHS if a new research project requires unusual or especially hazardous chemicals. - In order to ensure appropriate disposal of hazardous chemicals, EHS should conduct a review of these chemicals and how they may impact disposal procedures. Some chemicals require special disposal precautions and in order to minimize these wastes, a consultation with EHS would be beneficial.

A brief description of how the institution safely disposes of hazardous, universal, and non-regulated chemical waste:
Protocols have been developed which instruct, in a step-by-step process, how chemical waste is to be disposed of on both campuses of the university. Hazardous Waste Pickup Protocol - To schedule a pickup appointment for your Hazardous Waste, complete the online scheduling request form by going to this link (provided in pdf document) - All hazardous waste will ONLY be accepted in properly sealed disposable containers (reused 4 liter bottles, disposable carboys, etc.) that are properly labelled (see section 6-a). - Containers will not be returned to the users unless prior arrangements have been made. - All containers must be sealed with the appropriate lids. Any containers with non-fitting lids (even if wrapped with paraffin or tape) or with no lids will not be accepted. - No more than 20L of hazardous waste will be picked up during one appointment unless prior arrangements have been made. - Make sure all containers ready to be picked up are labelled with either the white or yellow label (see section 6a). This indicates those containers that are ready for pick up.

A brief description of any significant hazardous material release incidents during the previous three years, including volume, impact and response/remediation:
There have not been 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:
VCU Safety and Risk Management performs routine and unannounced inspections to determine compliance with health and safety policies and procedures. This includes reviewing and confirming Lab Manager inventory to encourage the reuse or redistribution of unused or unneeded laboratory chemicals.

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:
Computers, hard drives, keyboards, monitors, fax machines, printers, scanners and microwaves can all be recycled through the E-Waste recycling program. Departments Surplus e-waste items prior to them be accepted for recycling. The Physical Plant Dept. of General Services pick-ups the electronics items for delivery to PPD-Surplus Property Warehouse. Depending upon the condition of the electronic equipment it is either sold for reuse through the VCU Gov Deals Program or the materials are recycled. E-waste generated by students can be donated to the VCU Free Store for reuse by other students or for proper recycling if no longer usable.

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:

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.