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Environmental Health & Safety

Hazardous Waste

The goal of the University of Denver is to be a good environmental steward through pollution prevention, waste minimization, regulatory compliance, and a fundamental performance as guided by best management practices in the academic arena. The University has implemented a Hazardous Materials Management policy that establishes institutional requirements for managing the procurement, the use, the storage, and ultimately the disposal of hazardous materials.

In addition to ensuring regulatory compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the University’s aim is to promote best management practices to protect the environment regarding campus activities. Toward this end, DU uses guidelines established by the Campus Consortium for Environmental Excellence (C2E2) and the Environmental Virtual Campus (EVC) created by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the EPA. The C2E2, who is partnered with the EPA, is a nonprofit organization comprised of colleges and universities dedicated to improving environmental performance on campus. The EVC is a website that provides best management practices to be used at various areas and departments on campus. This web page lists some of these best management practices for the below listed topics to enhance our initiative on protecting the environment.

DU generates low amounts of hazardous waste which means it has lesser regulatory requirements. It is important, however, to remember that strict regulations are in place regarding the storage and disposal of hazardous materials, which have been identified as potentially harmful to you, or, the environment. If you generate hazardous waste, you must know the requirements for waste collection, waste disposal, and appropriate spill responses. Please reference the Hazardous Materials Management policy for guidance on purchasing chemicals, managing chemical waste, and controlling spills. All DU personnel who generate potentially hazardous waste are responsible for ensuring that any waste discarded in campus dumpsters or compactor units does not contain  infectious waste, special waste, hazardous waste, regulated radioactive waste, regulated pharmaceutical waste, and other miscellaneous liquid or semi-liquid wastes.

Here are some general recommendations to minimize the generation of waste:

  • Whenever feasible substitute for materials that are less hazardous and/or more environmentally friendly.
  • Minimize the amounts of material to be purchased or used to reduce the likelihood of accumulating waste.
  • Recycle materials, such as cleaners, automotive fluids, and wash waters, whenever it is feasible.
  • Minimize the use of water whenever feasible.

How to Deal with Old Batteries

Alkaline batteries are composed primarily of common metals—steel, zinc, and manganese—and do not pose a health or environmental risk during normal use or disposal. Battery manufacturers voluntarily eliminated all of the added mercury from alkaline batteries since the 1990s, while maintaining the performance consumer's demand. Therefore, alkaline batteries can be safely disposed of with normal household waste, everywhere but California.

For more information about used battery disposal in Colorado, click Battery Disposal.