Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 54.15
Liaison Leslie North
Submission Date March 3, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Western Kentucky University
OP-21: Hazardous Waste Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Elizabeth McGrew
Graduate Research Assistant
Social Responsibility & Sustainable Communities
"---" 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:

Hazardous reduction has been largely achieved by the transition of chemistry and biology laboratories from large scale to micro scale experimentation and the utilization of less hazardous substances, such as the usage of digital thermometers vs, those that contain mercury. Coal ash waste, both fly and bottom ashes have been totally eliminated by the Universities adaption of natural gas as a sole heat source and the decommissioning of the coal fired boilers. Aerosol paint cans generated by the Universities Facilities Management Department are no longer shipped off-site as hazardous waste. The Department of Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) utilizes a device purchased in 2013 that punctures the cans, (Approximately 1,200 per year) draining the remaining liquid and capturing the ozone depleting gases. The drained cans are then sold as scrap metal. Fluorescent lamps generated that pass the EPA’s TCLP test for hazardous waste are processed on site by EHS. Lamps that do not pass TCLP limits are containerized and shipped off-site for disposal. Methods employed over the last several years to reduce the amount of non-regulated chemical waste, including reuse and recycling have made further reductions both technically and financially infeasible.


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

Waste materials that cannot be reused or recycled on site are disposed of by utilization of a fully permitted, licensed and insured vendor in accordance with EPA regulations. WKU is a registered large quantity generator of hazardous waste, maintaining all EPA RCRA record-keeping requirements, and consistently passing annual EPA inspections with no noted violations.


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 releases of hazardous materials within the last 3 years.


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

WKU does not utilized a reuse or redistribution database for chemicals, as the bulk received at the hazardous waste facility are either outdated or in a condition that makes their purity questionable, rendering them useless for academic or research pursuits.


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 university uses a company to recycle all electronics and printer toner. All electronics, broken or otherwise, should come to our university recycling and surplus department. From there, staff sort and place the obsolete or broken items into the e-scrap containers where e-waste will then be collected by the recycling company.


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

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:
22.78 Tons

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