Waste Minimization and Reduction
The law requires that Marquette University make a good faith effort to
reduce the quantity and toxicity of the waste we generate, to the extent
are economically feasible. Apart from the environmental stewardship, regulatory compliance, and safety issues, the cost of hazardous waste disposal is great and a drain on the resources of the university. For example, the cost to purchase a pound of mercury is about $65.00. The cost to dispose of the same pound of mercury, even in its pure state, is
greater than $350.00.
The following are ways we are working to accomplish our waste reduction goal. We encourage all generators to utilize all practical means to reduce the waste generated.
Through process modification, improved operations,
and material substitution, you can reduce the amount of hazardous chemicals.
Here are some examples:
- Substitute non or less hazardous chemicals for more hazardous
chemicals. For example, consider substituting a non-toxic scintillation
cocktail for the more toxic options.
- Scale down the number and size of required experiments by
developing "micro scale" experiments
in the chemistry and other science labs.
- Replace hazardous chemical use with non-chemical methods. For
example, digital thermometers can be substituted for mercury.
- Limit your inventory of chemicals on hand to that of your immediate
need. This would result in less deteriorated or expired chemicals.
- Clearly label your solutions so they can be reused or disposed
of without expensive analysis.
- Tightly cap all containers to reduce emissions.
- Never mix hazardous and non-hazardous wastes. All the waste must
then be treated as hazardous.
- Anticipate future needs to avoid disposing of an item only
needing to reorder it in the near future.
- Do not accept gifts of chemicals unless you have an immediate
need for them.
- Avoid end of the year buying sprees unless you have a need.
- Store less chemicals to avoid possible leaks and spills
- Share unneeded and surplus chemicals with your colleagues.
- Check for surplus chemicals before ordering new chemicals.
Neutralization & Treatment
- Take appropriate steps to neutralize acids and treat other chemicals
to reduce their toxicity or render them non hazardous.
Examples of Waste Minimization at Marquette University
- The university has outsourced the oil and coolant changing of
its vehicles to a provider who can efficiently recycle the old
- Where practical, energy efficient and long life lighting products
have been utilized to reduce the amount of energy consumed and
reduce the amount of waste generated.
- The campus recycles batteries, mercury, fluorescent lamps and
- Efforts have been made to substitute digital thermometers for
- The university has switched much of its fleet to low emission
vehicles reducing the pollutants generated.
- Returnable gas cylinders are used where possible instead of the
smaller non returnable cylinders.
- Non hazardous latex paints are used where possible instead of
oil/solvent based paints.
- Paint mixing machines are utilized eliminating the need to store
as much paint in a wide variety of colors.
- Vinegar is often substituted for window cleaning reducing the
amount of ammonia products needed.
- Digital cameras are often used instead of the film type reducing
the use of film processing chemicals.
- Silver recovery systems are often used in film developing systems
reducing the amount of waste generated.
- A parts washer service has been outsourced to a provider who
recycles the used solvent.
- Where possible, more durable and repairable items are purchased.