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Laboratory Pollution Prevention continued from page 2

How can colleges and universities reduce lab waste?

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) developed the Environmental Virtual Campus as part of a settlement of a U.S. EPA and Department of Justice (DOJ) enforcement action. This online program can help a university make sure it is in compliance with environ- mental regulations and reduce the amount of hazardous waste it generates.

Enforcement settlement:

In September 2004, U.S. EPA and the University of California (UC) settled a case resolving 98 RCRA violations involving 4,000 containers. UC estimated that it has spent $1.78 million and 23,645 staff-hours since 2001 to complete an environmental audit of 47 university facilities.

Evaluate implementation of microscale chemistry.

The volume of chemicals used to conduct tests are experiments is reduced when you implement microscale chemistry. This reduces the amount of waste generated during lab experiments by 99 percent in some cases.

Success story:

Bemidji State University in Minnesota reduced their chemistry lab waste by almost 35 percent and saved $35,000 per year by having chemistry students scale down their lab experiments.

How can middle and high schools reduce lab waste?

There are many resources available online.

Lab Waste and P2-A Guide for Teachers

In this guide, Battelle Seattle Research Center explains how hazardous wastes and other by-products generated by classroom experiments can be minimized. It is intended for middle school, high school and college science teachers.

Healthy School Environments

This U.S. EPA Web site is targeted to facility managers, school administrators, architects, design engineers, school nurses, parents, teachers and staff. It addresses chemicals used by students, teachers, facility personnel and administrative staff in science classes, labs, art classes, vocational shops such as auto body, auto repair and printing and in facility maintenance such as cleaning, painting and pest control.

Rehab the Lab

Rehab the Lab is a program developed to help schools in King County, Washington manage their hazardous materials. It includes a collection of downloadable lesson plans for less toxic chemistry lab experiments.

How can hospitals reduce lab waste?

Hospitals are sources of many types of hazardous wastes. Many hospitals have found that working to reduce hazardous wastes, such as mercury, or specific types of wastes, such as laboratory waste, has resulted in significant cost savings.

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Notifier-Winter 2006



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