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Health & Safety Manual - Environmental Safety

3.1 Introduction

Columbia University’s environmental programs operate under the guidelines of an Environmental Management System (EMS).  Although the EMS was initially developed for the Morningside campus and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, the EMS now provides structure and function for many of the environmental management programs University-wide.    The EMS includes many policies and procedures, which serve as the framework for CU’s laboratory compliance program.  Central to the success of the EMS are elements including the “5 L’s of Hazardous Waste Management,”  the No Drain Disposal Policy” and numerous recycling programs, which allows the University the properly and proactively manage laboratory waste operations to minimize health, safety and environmental impacts.  

To ensure that laboratory waste is properly managed, it is essential that laboratory personnel have completed the University’s “Laboratory Safety and Hazardous Waste Management” prior to commencing work.  The program will provide important guidance regarding environmental regulations and University policies and procedures, which will assist laboratory personnel in making critical decisions about waste identification, collection, labeling and storage.