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Frequently Asked Questions About Recycling at MIT

Batteries
Compost
Electronics
Hallway Clutter
Lab Equipment
Light Bulbs
Recycling Bins
Recycling Services, Costs, and Hours of Operation
Reduce, Reuse, Recycling, and Rethink
Toner and Inkjet Cartridges
Wood and Furniture

Batteries

How do I recycle batteries?

MIT accepts all types of batteries for recycling, including domestically manufactured alkaline batteries. How to dispose of batteries on campus, depends on what kind they are. Any battery with a terminal must have that area taped over in order to prevent fires during collection and transportation.

Place batteries in a Battery disposal bin. Do not send through interdepartmental mail. Battery disposal bins are located in the Facilities Stockroom, E19-107; VWR Stockroom, 56-068; EHS, N52-496; all residence halls; and many Distributed Mail Centers (DMCs).

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Compost/Food Waste

Does MIT collect food waste?

The MIT Recycling program manages the collection of food waste from approximately 20 dining facilities, student residences and independent living groups on campus.

The amount of food waste that MIT collects varies by month in the academic year. The food waste collected comes primarily from the kitchen prep areas of dining locations on campus. However, some of the residence halls, especially in the graduate dorms, collect food waste

Only food waste and plant materials are accepted in the current program. Napkins, paper towels and other paper products are not allowed. In addition, because containers that are labeled as "compostable" are designed to be sent to an industrial compost facility, they are not accepted in MITís program.

How can my kitchen or residence hall participate in the food waste collection program?

Prior to setting up food waste collection in a residence hall, students must first get the approval of their House Operations Manager. Once approval is given, the Recycling Office will work with the residence hall to get the proper containers and will add the residence hall to the collection schedule. Pick ups are scheduled for Thursday. If you are interested in the program or would like to create a pilot project, please send an email to recycling@mit.edu.

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Electronics

What is the difference between eWaste and TechnoCycle?

eWaste is larger electronic waste such as monitors, CPUs, televisions, printers, and copiers. These items may be removed by the Recycling crew at no charge to MIT customers.

TechnoCycle is smaller electronic waste such as, cell phones, PDAs, pagers, CDs and CD cases, video tapes, cables and wires. These can be placed in containers in DMCs and most residence halls.

How do I recycle eWaste?

Facilities does not charge for the pick up of any electronic items. To request a pick-up of your office CPUs, monitors, printers, and other electronics go to Atlas. Items are usually picked up within 3-5 days after a request is submitted, but may take longer during busier times of the year.

If the weight of an electronic piece of equipment requires a rigging machine to remove it, the Recycling Office will supply the department with the name of a company who will provide the removal service for a fee.

There are no centralized drop-off areas at MIT for eWaste. Dumping of materials on loading docks, in basements, or in hallways creates unsafe working conditions. Please submit a request in Atlas to arrange a pickup.

How do I recycle TechnoCycle?

TechnoCycle bins are located in most Distributed Mail Centers (DMCs).

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Eliminate Hallway Clutter

How do I get something removed from my office/lab?

Prior to removal, contact the Property Office to deactivate any electronic items and delete contents from computers. After that, go to Atlas to request a pickup. Under the Service Requests tab click on Create Request.

How long will it take to get the items removed?

Pick up normally takes 3 to 5 days, but may take longer during busier times of the year.

Who is responsible for removing the items? Is it Custodial Services or the Recycling Office?

The Recycling Office works closely with Custodial Services to keep the hallways clear and safe. The Recycling crew will remove larger items from the hallway using the appropriate equipment to do so.

What if an item remains unclaimed in a hallway?

Our Custodial Services supervisors will tag and photograph items that appear to be abandoned. The Customer Service Center staff will email a photo of the item to our contacts in that particular building to request information on the status of the item. If no one contacts our Customer Service Center staff within 30 days, the item will be designated for removal.

Does Facilities provide moving services?

The Department of Facilities does not provide moving services. However, MIT customers may submit a "Moving" request through Atlas. An MIT preferred vendor, Your Move, will move items for you for a fee.

To have unwanted items removed for disposal, submit a "Recycling" request in Atlas. There is no charge for this service.

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Lab Equipment

How do I recycle lab equipment or appliances?

Prior to the removal of equipment from labs, all incubators, refrigerators, and other items must be cleaned and decontaminated according to EHS standards. Once laboratory equipment has a decontamination sticker, it may be removed by the MIT Recycling crew.

Please submit a work request through Atlas to schedule a pick-up of your items. There are no centralized drop-off areas at MIT for White Goods. Dumping of materials on loading docks, in basements, or in hallways creates unsafe conditions.

If the weight of an electronic piece of equipment requires a rigging machine to remove it, the Recycling Office will supply the department with the name of a company who will provide the removal service for a fee.

Please note: The proper disposal of white goods is regulated under both Massachusetts and, in most cases, Federal Law. Responsible handling of your white goods ensures that MIT and your department are complying with disposal restrictions. Equipment that has been improperly abandoned will be traced back to the source for removal charges.

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Light Bulbs

How do I recycle or replace a light bulb?

All light bulbs must be disposed of properly under Massachusetts and Federal Law. To replace light bulbs or to request pickup of light bulbs, submit a request through Atlas. Or, contact the Environment, Health and Safety Office to schedule removal of light bulbs.

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Recycling Bins

How do I get a recycling bin?

If an office undergoes a major renovation and needs new deskside or slim jim bins, then the cost for the bins should come from the project budget.

Students in residence halls should contact their House Operations Manager if they need a recycling or trash bin for their room.

The Recycling Office will supply up to six deskside trash and recycling bins to an office for new employees or when a replacement is needed. Just submit a request in Atlas.

The Recycling Office will supply a maximum of two "Slim Jim" bins to a DLC in a fiscal year. If more receptacles are needed, DLC are responsible for ordering centralized bins for their offices, labs, conference rooms, and lunch rooms.

We are doing a major clean out of files. How do I get a really large bin?

A 96-gallon blue tote is available to a department to accommodate file purges, office clean-outs, overprints, and any other "spring cleaning". Please submit a work request through Atlas to schedule a drop-off. Be sure to fill in the dates for us to drop the bin off and pick it up. Delivery of totes normally takes 2 to 3 days, but may take longer during busier times of the year.

Due to the high demand for the totes, a department may be limited to two totes per clean out. However, when possible, the totes may be emptied and returned with 24 notice. For further information, contact recycling@mit.edu.

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Recycling Services, Costs, and Hours of Operation

How do I schedule recycling services?

Submit a work request in Atlas for recycling services such as the delivery of totes for clean-outs and item removal. The Recycling Office does not charge for the removal of materials or for tote usage. However, there will be a charge for the delivery of boxes for events.

Pick up or delivery normally takes 3 to 5 days, but may take longer during busier times of the year.

How much do recycling services cost?

There is no charge for the removal of material for recycling or the delivery of totes for office cleanouts. However, there will be a charge for the delivery of boxes for events.

What are the Recycling Office’s hours of operation?

Office hours are from 7:00AM to 3:00PM. Our crew is on duty from 7:00AM to 2:30PM.

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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rethink

How do I get involved with recycling at MIT?

There are many opportunities, whether you are a student, staff, researcher, or faculty member. The first step is to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rethink! Help our effort on campus and become a green ambassador.

How do I reduce how much solid waste I produce?

The first step in reducing the amount of solid waste you produce is to stop buying so much stuff! With every purchase we make we are not just buying the item we want—we are also buying the raw materials used to make the item, the packaging and other extraneous materials that commonly come with products, and the disposal of the packing material.

Are there places on campus where I can donate stuff I don't need any more?

Many venues exist for reuse at MIT. If you have furniture or other items in great condition, you can make arrangements with the MIT Student Furniture Exchange at WW15 to arrange a drop-off. Or, you can join the reuse@mit.edu list to donate or locate materials. There are also clothing and book collection bins on campus.

Items with an MIT sticker must be deactivated by the Property Office before equipment can be donated. Call MIT extension 3-2779 for more information.

Prior to COVID-19, items could be donated on the third Thursday of the month at Choose to Reuse. This program is run by the MIT Recycling Office and the Working Green Committee. There are no current plans for when the program will return.

What is the MIT Recycling Rate?

MIT's annual recycling rate averages around 40%. This is excellent when compared across the country to other education institutions. Can we do better? Absolutely.

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Toner and Inkjet Cartridges

How do I recycle toner cartridges?

The best thing to do with a toner cartridge is to return it to the manufacturer or company you ordered it from. That way it can be reused again instead of just being recycled. Staples and other companies accept used toner cartridges, so look on the packaging for information on how to return it to the company. There is usually no charge for shipping.

Toner cartridge recycling is available in many Distributed Mail Centers (DMCs) on campus through our Recycling Station program.

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Wood and Furniture

How do I recycle pallets, crates, and wood?

Pallets, crates, wooden furniture, and other wood items can all be recycled at MIT. Wood can be treated or un-treated. Submit a work request through Atlas. Large wooden items may pose tripping and fire hazards, and can block accessibility through hallways and on loading docks. Please be responsible with placement.

How do I recycle furniture?

In many cases, furniture in good condition may be reused by the MIT community. If the furniture you are disposing of is in reusable condition, please make arrangements with the MIT Student Furniture Exchange (FX), at WW15 to arrange a drop-off. If furniture is beyond usable, it will be recycled as scrap metal or wood. For pick up by the Recycling crew, please submit a work order through Atlas to get furniture removed.

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 RELATED LINKS
 MIT Environment, Health & Safety
 Order Recycling Services
 Working Green Committee
 Office of Sustainability
 Cambridge Department of Public Works
 INFORMATIONAL FLYERS (PDFs)
 How To Recycle at MIT
 Special Stream Bin Locations
 Technocylce/Electronic Waste
 CONTACT INFO

Facilities

Department Directory

Recycling and Materials Management

Ruth T. Davis
Manager

Jarrod Jones
Recycling and Solid Waste Management
Supervisor

Customer Service Center

Office Hours: M - F, 7AM - 4:30PM
Phone: 617-253-4948
Building: 7-019
Email: dof-csc@mit.edu

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