Monday, August 9, 2004

$1.2 million in projects
reduces UH toxic waste

The University of Hawaii has completed $1.2 million in cleanup projects that were part of a February 2001 settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the state Health Department over hazardous-waste violations.

The projects reduced the amount of hazardous waste generated by the university by 13,000 pounds a year since 2001, the EPA said last week in a news release.

"We applaud the university for turning a problem area into an opportunity by instituting progressive pollution prevention and waste-reduction practices," Jeff Scott, director of Waste Programs for the EPA Pacific Southwest Region, said in a statement.

As part of the agreement, the EPA said the university:

» Converted the undergraduate chemistry curriculum to microscale, which uses smaller amounts of chemicals and special glassware resulting in less waste, less exposure to students and the need for fewer chemicals.

» Spent $207,000 to convert the Honolulu Community College print shop to a digital system, eliminating wastes such as silver-based developers, inks and solvents.

» Replaced more than 1,300 pieces of equipment that contained a total of about 10 pounds of mercury.

» Adopted new techniques and equipment to improve paint spraying in auto-body repair classes at the Manoa campus and four community colleges.

» Spent $140,000 to identify pollution prevention and waste-minimization projects.

University of Hawaii

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Hawaii State Department of Health



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