Policy on the management of hazardous waste products

Policy on the management of hazardous waste products [As approved at the Council meeting on 12 September 2011]

 Introduction

In the course of research, teaching and operational processes, faculties and other environments at Stellenbosch University (SU) continuously generate household, electronic, chemical and biological waste. These waste products pose a risk to the environment, the workplace as well as people. This policy lays the foundation for operational procedures for managing and removing such hazardous waste products. It forms part of environmental management towards environmental law compliance. Non-compliance with this policy could compromise the safety and health of staff, students and visitors as well as the reputation of SU.

 Aim

This policy aims to inform the actions and conduct of both staff and students involved in the generation, handling, storage and removal of hazardous waste products, in compliance with best practice, safety requirements and statutory prescripts. The policy further aims to manage risks, such as those pertaining to legislation, public image and finance, and to mitigate any potential negative outcomes.

 Stipulations

  1. SU is committed to responsible environmental management through effective waste management procedures. This includes the removal of solid, biological and chemical waste, blood samples, and human and animal tissue.
  2. SU is committed to compliance with the following statutory prescripts in particular:
  • The National Environmental Management: Waste Act (Act 59 of 2008)
  • The Occupational Health and Safety Act (Act 85 of 1993)
  • The National Environmental Management Act (Act 107 of 1998)
  • The Asbestos Regulations (Government Notice R.155 of 2001)

3.         In addition to being compliant with the aforementioned statutory prescripts, this policy is also aligned with other relevant SU policies, such as the Sustainability Policy.

4.         All environments that generate waste products, whether hazardous or non-hazardous, are bound by the practices prescribed in SU’s operational procedures for waste management, in order to decrease or even avoid waste products.

5.         The procurement of chemicals and materials that could generate hazardous waste products must be kept to a minimum in order to prevent any excess or wastage.

6.         Environments that utilise specialised raw materials such as uranium, gold and other precious metals for research purposes are responsible to obtain permits for the procurement, storage, utilisation and disposal of these materials, as prescribed in applicable legislation.

7.         Chemicals and materials that could generate hazardous waste products must be reused as far as possible.

8.         Environment heads (heads of responsibility centres and deans) have the overarching responsibility for waste management and for appointing a contact person who is to serve as a link between the relevant environment and Property Services. Each department also has to appoint a representative as departmental coordinator of waste management processes.

9.         Environment heads (heads of responsibility centres and deans) are responsible to ensure that equipment containing dangerous substances, such as laboratory and computer equipment, batteries and globes, are recycled.

10.      This policy is supported by appropriate operational procedures, which are revised and updated annually. The Property Services Division is responsible for compiling, updating and distributing the operational procedures.

11.      The operational procedures are available on http://sun025.sun.ac.za/portal/page/portal/Staff_Personeel/Portal_Home/Pol_proc_forms.

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