Waste Minimization Plan
Wherever feasible, generation of waste should be reduced or eliminated as much as possible. Implementing a comprehensive waste minimization plan may reduce the generator status of the University and therefore reduce the compliance requirements. The plan can also reduce exposure to toxic materials, potential environmental liabilities and help protect the environment through more efficient resource utilization.
From a cost savings perspective, the program reduces expenses by minimizing waste treatment and disposal costs, raw material purchases, and other operating costs.
There are many ways to prevent or minimize hazardous waste generation. This list provides some ideas for waste minimization techniques.
- Maintain a limited inventory of chemicals on hand so those chemicals do not expire or deteriorate and necessitate disposal. Only purchase what is needed.
- Develop a running inventory of chemicals on hand.
- Use the inventory to track unused chemicals for possible use by other departments.
- Reduce or eliminate the use of highly toxic chemicals in lab experiments.
- Establish reasonable waste minimization goals within your department.
- Perform laboratory experiments on a micro-scale whenever feasible.
- Reuse or recycle spent solvents.
- Recover metal from catalyst.
- Initiate procedures to reduce mercury use; e.g., replace mercury-bearing instruments with alternatives.
- Polymerize epoxy waste to a safe solid.
- Replace chromic acid cleaning solutions with Alconox or a similar detergent.
- Replace ethidium bromide with Syber Green.
- Recycle office equipment such as computer monitors.
Waste handling options and the priority in which they should be considered are illustrated below.