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Re: Chemical Reuse System for University?

More than 20 years ago, I was at the research labs of a major corporation.
They kept an inventory of all "non-standard" chemicals on their "campus",
obtained by an initial inventory and then from purchasing records.  Then
when a "non-standard" chemical was ordered for the campus, the first step
was a check of the inventory to see if the chemical already existed on the
campus.  This reduced their purchasing and subsequent waste disposal,
because it encouraged the transfer of the chemicals before they became
"deteriorated" (or contaminated) over time.  Many specialty lab chemicals
are only available in larger quantities than immediately needed or are
ordered so (to be able to repeat a procedure or in case of an error in a
procedure), and then the unused portion sits in that lab for [chose one:
months, years, decades].  If the system knows what is there, then it can be
recovered.  Another issue is accounting and transfers of grant funds, but
that can also be accomplished by a willing administrator!

Ralph E. Cooper, Ph.D.
Mediator and Attorney at Law
(and former lab administrator and pollution prevention educator)

----- Original Message -----
From: <Katz.John@epamail.epa.gov>
To: <p2tech@great-lakes.net>
Sent: Thursday, November 01, 2001 5:36 PM
Subject: Chemical Reuse System for University?

> I have a request from a university for information on how to refine
> their chemical tracking and reuse program. They already have a fairly
> robust chemical re-use program that is run by their EH&S folks, but are
> interested in making their program as effective as possible. As I
> understand it, they pick up materials from campus labs and departments,
> bring it to their 90-day storage facility, figure out whether it's
> suitable for reuse, and if so provide it to other departments. They use
> a database and email system to track and "market" the reusable
> materials.
> Does anybody have examples of universities or other facilities that have
> really top notch exchange/reuse programs that could suggest any
> additional improvements for them?
> Thanks.
> John Katz
> Pollution Prevention Coordinator
> US EPA Region 9
> 75 Hawthorne Street, WST-7
> San Francisco, CA  94105
> 415-744-2150
> 415-744-1044 (fax)
> katz.john@epa.gov