EHS Sustainability Programs

ASU Environmental Health and Safety’s Sustainability Programs facilitate the donation, exchange and request of unused chemicals, reducing waste and promoting sustainability.

Chemical Exchange Program

ASU labs may send unused and unopened chemicals to the Chemical Exchange Program. The program delivers these chemicals to other labs, reducing waste by potentially diverting chemicals destined for disposal. 

How to donate unopened and unexpired chemicals

  1. Complete a waste tag for each chemical you are donating.
  2. Submit a hazardous waste removal form.
    1. Indicate that your chemical is for the Chemical Exchange Program in the comment field.
  3. EHS will pick up the chemicals from the lab.
    1. Do not deliver the chemicals to EHS for disposal.

How to request chemicals

  1. Contact EHS
  2. EHS will deliver the requested chemicals to the labs free of charge.

Labs can be alerted of free, donated chemicals as they become available. Email EHS to be included in this email list.

Green Labs Program

The ASU Green Labs program is essential because it holds laboratories responsible for their disproportionately high energy use, often consuming 3–8 times more energy per square foot than other office buildings. Lab operations involve increased ventilation for occupant safety, longer operating hours and energy-intensive equipment needs such as chemical fume hoods, autoclaves and clean rooms.

The Green Labs program assists in reducing energy use and implementing other sustainable practices through education and alternative solutions such as the fume hood “Shut the Sash” energy conservation program, which reminds researchers to shut the fume hood sash when it is not in use. Other reasons to make your lab green include the following:

  • Increase the likelihood of receiving grant funding.
  • Receive recognition on your lab safety registration placard and individual certificates.
  • Support sustainability at ASU by reducing waste and conserving energy in labs.

Steps to attain Green Labs certification

  1. Confirm that your lab has a current EHS Lab Safety Registration.
  2. Verify the lab group shares agreement to pursue ASU Green Labs Certification.
  3. Designate a Green Lab Coordinator for the lab.
  4. Complete an application and email Green Labs.

The ASU Labs program was honored in 2014 with the ASU President’s Award for Sustainability.

Additional resources

Hazardous Materials Minimization Plan 

The Hazardous Materials Minimization Plan provides guidelines and procedures for the reuse, reduction or elimination of hazardous wastes and disposal of hazardous materials throughout ASU’s campuses. 

The HMMP, in conjunction with the Chemical Environmental Management System, will help ASU do the following:

  • Enhance compliance efforts.
  • Reduce costs.
  • Reduce hazardous waste.

Employees should use the HMMP in combination with other university EHS programs, including the following:

Mercury Thermometer Exchange Program 

ASU encourages hazardous material users to exchange their mercury-filled thermometers for alcohol or mineral spirits thermometers. This eliminates accidental breakage and hazardous mercury spills.

Hazardous material users can request mercury thermometers or equipment pickup by submitting the hazardous waste removal form in CEMS or contacting EHS. The user must note in the form’s comment section if they would like an alcohol thermometer for replacement.

Time-Sensitive Chemical Program

ASU encourages safe work practices with time-sensitive chemicals and enforces time-based disposal requirements established by the CHP. This eliminates the reduction of time-sensitive chemicals stored past their expiration and the significant hazards and costs associated with their stabilization and disposal.

Types of time-sensitive chemicals monitored by the program include:

  • Antidotes: Chemicals that mitigate exposure to toxic chemicals present a hazard after expiration and cannot serve their function.
  • Multi-nitro chemicals: Chemicals with multiple nitro groups typically stabilize with a solvent but become shock-sensitive explosives when desiccated.
  • Peroxide-forming chemicals: Chemicals stored in mild conditions that react with oxygen to form dangerous and unstable products, such as inexplosive, shock-sensitive crystals.

EHS will notify hazardous material users via email of expiring time-sensitive chemicals on the following schedule:

  • Three months before the expiration of an antidote. EHS will advise users to obtain a replacement.
  • Three months before the maximum shelf life of multi-nitro and peroxide-forming chemicals. EHS will direct users to arrange for disposal by submitting a hazardous waste removal request.

If preventative action is not taken, the chemical hygiene officer will send reminder emails after expiration.

Email Environmental Health and Safety or call 480-965-1823 with questions or for more information.