Hazardous Waste

Resource Conservation

Resource Conservation initiatives are an important step toward ensuring environmental preservation by reducing waste at the point of generation and by finding new opportunities for recycling or reusing materials. The Hazardous Materials Management (HMM) program supports resource conservation by coordinating several recycling programs including fluorescent light bulbs, computer monitors, batteries, and fluorescent lamp ballasts. Working in conjunction with the Office of Campus Sustainability, HMM helps administer pollution prevention programs including silver recovery, mercury reduction, solvent recycling and chemical redistribution. HMM also participates in the Planet Blue initiative by taking part in open houses to promote recycling and supports cost effective alternatives to traditional waste disposal options.

Waste Minimization Programs

The University of Michigan (U-M) is committed to waste minimization and protecting human health and the environment while accommodating increasingly sophisticated and productive research operations. In support of this commitment, the Department of Occupational Safety and Environmental Health, in a collaborative effort with faculty, staff and students, have incorporated waste minimization applications in many activities throughout campus.

  • Laboratories and maintenance units have instituted source reduction, reuse/re-distribution, and product substitution practices where feasible in an effort to reduce the generation of regulated hazardous waste.
  • Purchasing equipment that incorporates cutting-edge technology and implementing contracts that take advantage of chemical return policies contribute toward waste minimization.
  • Mercury reduction efforts including exchanging mercury containing thermometers and manometers with mercury-free or electronic alternatives eliminates hazardous waste generation and reduces potential environmental impact.
  • Utilizing micro scale techniques in place of standard lab practices and procedural revisions such as reducing the number of steps necessary to carry out a particular experiment or activity helps minimize waste generation.
  • Solvent distillation apparatus installed at high volume generator locations lessening the need to purchase new product is a fiscally responsible approach and another good example of waste minimization and recycling efforts taking place across campus.

The Hazardous Materials Management Program supports pollution prevention and waste minimization, energy conservation and efficient use of resources. These actions provide economic incentives, regulatory compliance, and reduced liabilities associated with impacts to health, safety and the environment. Faculty, staff and students all share responsibility for health, safety and environmental stewardship and every individual should work toward developing and implementing programs designed to promote this effort while minimizing risk to themselves, others and the U-M.

For additional information on Environment, Health, Safety and Waste Minimization Programs on the U-M campus, contact the Hazardous Materials Management office at 763-4568 or the Office of Campus Sustainability at 615-7025.

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