Inside this issue:

Environmental Health
& Safety


Medical Center
630 West 168th Street,
Mailbox #8
New York, NY  10032
Phone:  (212) 305-6780

Morningside Campus
S.W. Mudd Building, Suite 350
New York, NY  10027
Phone:  (212) 854-8749

Make Some Room

Do you need more storage space in your laboratory? Take a look around and see if your laboratory is filled with:

  • chemicals that are no longer of use (beyond the expiration date)
  • chemicals and samples that cannot be identified (faded labels, no labels)
  • chemicals that appear as though they have not been used in years

If you answered YES to any of the questions, then it’s time to get rid of these ‘inherently waste-like’ chemicals, which are subject to EPA’s hazardous waste regulations. EH&S invites you to make some room and unload your unwanted chemicals for safe, no-cost disposal. Simply schedule (854-8749 @ Morningside or 305-6780 @ CUMC) a visit with EH&S staff who will help coordinate your clean out. For “cleanouts” no Hazardous Waste Labels or Chemical Pickup Request Forms are required, so take advantage of this simple solution to your chemical storage issues.

Update: Chemical Recycling

Even before “going green” was in vogue, EH&S was thinking green. In 2001, we partnered with the Departments of Pathology and Dermatopathology at CUMC to begin an on-site recycling program for used xylene and ethanol, which are returned for use over and over again. Many years and thousands of gallons later (they recycle in excess of 3,000 gallons annually), the program is running strong and providing green and financial benefits. Visit these links to read more:http://www.environment.columbia.edu/newsandprofiles and
In 2008, EH&S’s continued pursuit of environmental Sustainability resulted in a partnership with several labs in the Department of Chemistry to initiate recycling of acetone for reuse within the laboratories generates approximately 800 gallons of waste acetone each year and in the first 4 months of operation, 210 gallons were recycled and returned.  EH&S estimates the program will recycle approximately 600 gallons of acetone per year (or 75% of all waste acetone generated by Chemistry labs) with a projected annual savings of $7,400 in purchase and disposal costs.

EH&S would like to expand the acetone recycling program by encouraging more laboratories to join the “go green” movement. In addition, we will be evaluating opportunities to recycle other commonly used solvents in research. If you have ideas for reuse or recycling, please forward suggestions to EH&S envsafety@columbia.edu  or to the Stewardship Office environment@columbia.edu

EH&S launches new website

In October 2008, EH&S unveiled a new look to the website. The target date for completion is March 1, 2009. The content reflects the expansion of programs to address a wider range of health and safety areas and the ever-widening role of environmental compliance in University operations. Search options have been enhanced and the site allows users from all campuses (Morningside, CUMC, LDEO, & Nevis) to easily identify EH&S personnel responsible for specific programs.
Please check our site at http://ehs.columbia.edu.

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