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Business Policies - Waste Minimization Program

TO:   All Members of the University Community       2002:04

DATE:   September 2002

Waste Minimization Program

I. Purpose

This is to provide a written policy and procedure for the purchase, storage, inventory, use and disposal of chemicals on the Ferris State University campus.  This program will result in conserving institutional funding resources while helping to preserve the environment by reducing the disposal of waste chemicals.

II. Policy

Ferris State University operational departments will purchase chemicals in quantities that are sufficient for immediate use (12 months), date each container, inventory what is stored annually, and dispose of surplus chemicals by recycling, alternative departmental consumption or as a waste chemical through the Environmental Health and Safety Office (EHSO).

III. Procedures 

A.                 Purchase of Chemicals

Obtain chemicals through Science Stores or by individual departmental purchases.  Substitute materials of lower toxicity whenever possible. 

B.                 Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)

It is the responsibility of the chemical purchaser to request and obtain a MSDS for each item purchased.  A copy of the MSDS will be made and placed in the MSDS book for each department.  The original will be sent to the EHSO for inclusion in the electronic MSDS database.  The web address is, click on Quick Links and then MSDS Finder. 

C.                 Inventory

Consume older dated chemicals first and reduce the amount of shelf inventory to what will be consumed in the next 12 months.  The department owning the chemicals shall conduct a yearly inventory and supply this information to the Physical Plant Environmental Engineer by June 30th of each year. 

D.                 Chemical Storage

Store chemicals based on compatibility and utilize specialized storage as necessary (fume hood, flammable storage cabinets, freezers, refrigerators, etc.).

E.                  Process Modification

Can the class demonstration or laboratory exercise achieve the same end goal by the use of chemicals with less:  toxicity, flammability, less hazard potential to students, faculty and staff. 

F.                  Return to Stores/Recycling

Surplus chemicals that are still usable should be returned to Science Stores so that other departments can consume the items.  Recycling of certain materials reduces the amount of materials being disposed of as waste and reduces the expense to the University. 

G.                 Consider New Technology

Stay abreast of new technology and determine if these advancements would reduce the expense of chemical treatment, specific consumption of chemicals, and the expense of waste disposal. 

This policy should be reviewed and revised annually by the Environmental Engineer through the Office of the Assistant Vice President for Plant Management and in consultation with the EHS Specialist.  Any revisions of this policy shall be effective upon approval of the revised policy by the Vice President for Administration & Finance.

Richard Duffett 
Vice President for Administration & Finance

CONTACT:  Physical Plant