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Pollution Prevention & Waste Minimization

Laboratory researchers can participate in programs that minimize the environmental impact of activities conducted at Stanford. Programs result in cost-savings, are simple to implement, and benefit labs and the environment.

  • Wastewater Management The Palo Alto Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant, where Stanford's wastewater ends up eventually, has strict wastewater discharge requirements to protect South San Francisco Bay from pollutants. Improper disposal or accidental chemical spills to the laboratory sink drains could impact water or wastewater quality. Proper storage and disposal of chemicals safeguard against such occurrences. Link»
  • Mercury Thermometer Exchange Program - Did you know that the University will replace your mercury thermometers at no cost! Mercury is a toxic pollutant and is listed as one of 12 priority chemicals. In the laboratory, mercury-containing compounds present a health hazard and spills from broken thermometers are costly to clean up and dispose of. A mercury thermometer can be easily identified by the presence of a silver bulb. If the bulb is red, blue, purple, green or any other color, it is most likely not a mercury thermometer. Link to EHS»
  • Surplus Chemical Program gives researchers a direct means of improving the environment by reducing the volume of chemicals being purchased and disposed of as waste. EH&S maintains an inventory of over 300 free, unused and unopened chemicals available for immediate use and will be delivered promptly to the requesting laboratory. Participation in the program not only reduces purchase and disposal costs, but it also reduces the significant environmental impacts associated with chemical waste disposal. Link to EHS»
  • Product Substitutions are opportunities for laboratories include cleaning/sterilizing/rinsing substitutions, and the use of non-hazardous or less toxic chemical alternatives. Link to EHS»
  • Process Modifications are opportunities for laboratories include analytical equipment modifications, neutralization/deactivation/recovery protocols, and micro-scaling processes. Please consider incorporating as many of the following into your research as practicable. Link to EHS»