Hazardous Substances

22) What kind of hazardous waste does your school generate and what are the sources?
Science classes such as chemistry and biology generate lab wastes.  Campus transportation vehicles generate motor oil and antifreeze, which are both recycled.  Medical wastes are generated at the Student Health Center.  Asbestos are also generated from the demolition of old buildings and remodeling projects.  Typically all the asbestos generated were landfilled.

23) How much hazardous waste does your campus generate annually?
In 1999 there were 312 tons of hazardous waste generated on campus.  This is not a typical number.  The University Village II project included a large amount of demolition work that created asbestos waste.  During an average year there is only 30-60 tons of hazardous waste generated, but the number can vary annually due to specific projects that are taking place.

24) How has this figure changed over the past five years?
Over the past five years this figure has declined due to the reduction in big asbestos jobs and lab waste.

25) How is this waste disposed of?
Much of the waste is recycled such as the motor oil.  Some of the waste is incinerated, mainly that which is generated from the health center.  If the waste is not incinerated or recycled then it is most likely landfilled, which is typically the last option. 

26) How much is recycled? Incinerated? Landfilled?
       Recycled: 400 gallons of photographic wastes
                       25,000 linear feet of fluorescent light bulbs
                       650 gallons of used motor oil
                       225 pounds of non-PCB light ballasts
                       50 pounds of lab chemicals.
       Incinerated: 600 pounds of PCB ballasts
                            3,972 pounds of lab wastes
       Landfilled: In 1998 there was 302 tons of asbestos landfilled due to a construction project.  In a typical year there is only 10-15 tons landfilled.

27) What were the total hazardous-waste disposal costs for the last academic year?
For the 1999 academic year the total cost for hazardous waste disposal was $140,000.  Out of this total $17,000 went towards permits and taxes, and $6,000 went towards radioactive waste disposal.  Administration and recycling contracts are also included in the total.

28) How have these costs changed over the past five years?
Over the past five years there has been more money spent on recycling and less spent on wastes sent to a landfill, etc. 

29) What is being done on campus to minimize the quantity of hazardous substances used and waste generated?
Mercury thermometers are being replaced with alcohol ones, chemicals are recycled between the Biology and Chemistry departments, wastes that are used and generated are being minimized, chemicals are no longer permitted to be surplused in the Biology and Chemistry departments, and recycling efforts are made more often on and off campus. 

30) Have microscale chemistry techniques/surplus chemical exchange programs been initiated?  If so, please describe. Including date of implementation and cost savings to date.
The university initiated the conversion to microscale techniques in organic laboratory courses (CHEM 28,70,170L, and 172) in the early 1990’s.  Shortly thereafter the general chemistry course for applied science majors (CHEM 27) also adopted these microscale techniques.  In 1997 a laboratory manual was adopted for the general chemistry courses (CHEM 37&38) that utilizes microscale techniques.  All of the biochemistry laboratories have always used microscale experimentation techniques.  The advantages of microscale techniques have not only included cost savings in chemicals and waste disposal, but there is also less equipment breakage, lab safety and air quality has improved, and the cost for equipment is generally lower than regular sized versions.  After the initial startup costs (which were covered by funding from the California Lottery) it is estimated that the Chemistry Department saves $2,000-$4,000 per year.  The cost/savings are not tracked separately.  Hazardous waste disposal costs are not paid for out of the Chemistry Department budget, so additional savings accrue to the accounts of the office of Environmental Health and Safety.  On a side note, one of the Chemistry Department faculty is a co-author of a nationally used laboratory textbook for general chemistry that has introduced microscale techniques into the general chemistry courses of 60-70 colleges and universities nationwide.  This in turn affects the laboratory work of over 10,000 students annually.

31) If the Chemistry Department has implemented a microscale laboratory program, how many courses use microscale techniques and how many students does this include?
Microscale techniques have been incorporated into the following courses; the typical annual enrollments are listed in the parentheses. 
       CHEM 27 (267)
       CHEM 28 (180)
       CHEM 37 (370)
       CHEM 38 (165)
       CHEM 70 (156)
       CHEM 154 (26) 
       CHEM 170L (70)
       CHEM 170M (10)
       CHEM 172 (6)
       CHEM 251 (200)

32) Roughly, what portion of the chemistry program does this represent?
Almost all of the laboratory programs in CSU, Chico’s Chemistry Department use microscale techniques.  There are only a few experiments where pedagogical issues require that larger portions of chemicals be used. 

33) Does your school have a system for tracking and inventorying hazardous chemical bought and used? If so, please describe.
Yes.  Each department that buys and uses hazardous chemicals has a system for tracking and inventorying what is purchased and on hand.  All chemicals purchased are inventoried beginning at the point of receipt.  An MSDS that delineates all potential hazards is delivered with every order.  An annual inventory is conducted of all chemicals in stock and includes quantity and storage location.  All hazardous materials are tracked from the point of waste generation at a department level through treatment or disposal.  Each department then reports to the Office of the Vice President for Business and Finance and the Environmental Management, Health, and Safety office. 
 

 

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