The College of Chemistry serves as a shining example for UC campuses in its waste minimization efforts through the establishment of its distinctive Chemical ReUse Faciilty (CRF). This chemical storage facility serves as a community pool of reagents that all research groups affiliated with the College can access at no cost. Even affiliates in Stanley Hall and the Energy Biosciences Institute can participate, even though they are located remotely from the Chemistry building complex. The CRF program allows research groups to connect their chemical inventories (reported annually to EH&S) to their current research by offloading surplus chemicals. This gives campus EH&S a better picture of what types of hazardous chemicals are “currently in use” here at UCB.
And the program works. Anywhere from 1,500 to 3,000 chemical reagents are “recycled” in this fashion every year. According to Emery Wilson, EH&S Specialist with the College of Chemistry, “this program is unique, even when compared to other college campuses across the nation or similar programs in the industrial sector. The sheer number of reused surplus chemicals dwarfs the recycling efforts made elsewhere. And it is the only redistribution venue available here at UC for compressed gases in lecture bottles.”
One way Emery promotes the CRF is to acknowledge those who use it. Every research group that substantially participates by reusing chemicals throughout the year earns a "Major Leaguer" designation with the College in recognition of their noteworthy green chemistry ethic.
CRF also compiles safety information about the chemicals it distributes, available online to its clientele within the same search engine used to browse and order from ReUse . These “Safety Sheets” compile relevant hazardous communication information from many different sources, saving the researchers valuable time in their experiment preparation efforts. They are formatted with graphics and icons to make them more readily comprehensible to our student community.
Thanks to everyone for doing their part!