Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.89
Liaison Julie Newman
Submission Date Oct. 23, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
OP-21: Hazardous Waste Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 MIT Office of Sustainability
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have strategies in place to safely dispose of all hazardous, special (e.g. coal ash), universal, and non-regulated chemical waste and seek to minimize the presence of these materials on campus?:

A brief description of steps taken to reduce hazardous, special (e.g. coal ash), universal, and non-regulated chemical waste:

MIT’s Hazardous Waste Minimization Team works closely with MIT's hazardous waste vendor and campus researchers to identify waste minimization and pollution prevention efforts for the Institute. The Waste Minimization Program’s current initiatives include:
- Chemical inventory using ChemTracker
- Consolidation of hazardous waste
- Cylinder disposal
- Ethidium bromide substitution
- Glass recycling
- Improved waste stream determination (includes chemical sharps & unknowns)
- Mercury free bubblers
- Mercury thermometer exchange program
- Silver recovery
- Solvent recycling
- Virgin chemical redistribution.

These initiatives allow the Hazardous Waste Team to divert materials for recycling, recovery, or reuse. MIT's Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) Office also encourages researchers to work with the Hazardous Waste Team and the EHS Office to identify additional strategies to reduce waste and improve MIT's environmental stewardship.

A brief description of how the institution safely disposes of hazardous, universal, and non-regulated chemical waste:

Waste is collected across campus by MIT's hazardous waste vendor, who is specially trained to handle these substances. Once collected, hazardous wastes are delivered to a "main accumulation area" on campus where they can be stored for 90 or 180 days. The waste is consolidated and bulked for shipment to a Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facility where it will ultimately be destroyed. Some of MIT’s waste is burned for energy reclamation, and some is incinerated. The Environmental Management Program (EMP) staff continues to research new disposal methods for MIT waste.

To prevent the spread of hazardous substances from e-waste, MIT Facilities picks up and disposes of CPUs, monitors, printers, fax machines, and other electronics and their components for free. Through MIT's TechnoCycle program, trash related to daily-use technologies (such as small electronics, cell phones, PDAs, pagers, floppy disks, CDs and CD cases, zip disks, audio and video tapes, external drives, cables and wires, keyboards, mice, and toner and inkjet cartridges) are collected in distributed mail centers throughout campus. Batteries are collected at all distributed mail centers and residence halls.

A brief description of any significant hazardous material release incidents during the previous three years, including volume, impact and response/remediation:

There have not been any significant hazardous materials releases in the past three years to report.

A brief description of any inventory system employed by the institution to facilitate the reuse or redistribution of laboratory chemicals:

Virgin chemicals that are no longer needed in one lab may be used by another lab on campus. MIT's Hazardous Waste Management Team and Environment, Health & Safety Office facilitates the reuse of chemicals. All labs maintain chemical inventories; it is recommended that labs use an online chemical inventory platform, e.g. BIOVIA CISPro Cloud. This online system allows for chemical sharing between labs. During laboratory clean outs, unused chemicals that are useful to others are identified and redistributed by the EHS Office and the Hazardous Waste Team.

Does the institution have or participate in a program to responsibly recycle, reuse, and/or refurbish electronic waste generated by the institution?:

Does the institution have or participate in a program to responsibly recycle, reuse, and/or refurbish electronic waste generated by students?:

A brief description of the electronic waste recycling program(s), including information about how electronic waste generated by the institution and/or students is recycled:

Most Distributed Mail Centers (building mail rooms) and residence halls provide drop boxes for e-waste (TechnoCycle).


The recycling office also collects broken or obsolete electronics using an online request form that is submitted through Atlas. The collected electronics are recycled by an e-waste processing company. If computer equipment owned by MIT isn't needed by anyone at the Institute, it can be sold via the Property Office. The MIT department that owned the equipment receives 90 percent of the selling price and the other 10 percent goes to the Property Office as an administrative fee. Departments also have the option of donating computers to non-profits. MIT's Information Systems and Technology (IS&T) offers a reuse program that collects electronic products that are still in good working condition (mostly laptops and desktops) and resells them.

Is the institution’s electronic waste recycler certified under the e-Stewards and/or Responsible Recycling (R2) standards?:

Electronic waste recycled or otherwise diverted from the landfill or incinerator during the most recent year for which data is available during the previous three years:
58 Tons

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data on the quantity of electronic waste recycled or diverted comes from the MIT's Office of Recycling and Materials Management in the Department of Facilities.

Office of Recycling and Materials Management (e-waste): http://web.mit.edu/facilities/environmental/recycling.html

Information Systems and Technology recycling program: https://ist.mit.edu/hardware/recycle

EHS Hazardous Waste Management:

EHS Chemical Inventory:

MIT Green Labs:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.