MIT offers a pretty wide range of recycling and waste streams that we all need to make an effort to use correctly.
There are several in the shop spaces, as well as others in places like mailrooms, dorms, and the student center.
black bagged - bins by doors, all rooms - household-type trash only (no shop scrap!)
no bin - large pieces of corrugated cardboard - flatten and lean against bins by door, or carefully against wall in hallway
clear bagged- bins by doors, all rooms - single-stream recycling only (household) *THIS IS WHERE ALL CLEAN PAPER SCRAP GOES
From the facilities page, here is a list of things that cannot go into the clear bags (in our case, add random modelmaking
material to this list, as well)
Items NOT accepted in Single Stream Recycling
Tissues, paper towels, napkins
Coffee cups and lids
Single use utensils
Ice and liquids
Shop trash is not like household trash, is often not compatible, and so we have additional
locations for different things you'll need to dispose of. Shop users must be conscientious about correct locations for
scraps and other waste.
As far as actual removal goes (in building 3)- the wheeled bins are replaced by putting in work orders specifically for
their removal - but the smaller "kitchen height" bins must be changed out by shop users when they are full. All student shop users are
responsible for leaving the space cleaner than they found it - this includes helping maintain the trash/recycling bins.
We have extra black/clear bags in the PPE cabinets for you to use, and more in storage. They are identical to the ones
in the studios, so if you need any and for some reason they're out in the shops, just grab some from across the hall.
When one of these bins is full, do not pile more junk on top - it is every users's responsibility to help keep shop
trash under control. Pull the full bag out of the bin, tie it shut, and leave it against the wall in the hallway.
An overflowing trash (or incorrectly used recycling bin) like this is absolutely unnecessary, and completely unacceptable:
Facilities makes rounds to pick up trash nightly, but they are not obligated to deal with poorly bagged trash, and they are
not obligated to rearrange and remove any trash in the shop rooms. They need to be able to easily lift a tied bag up and put
it into one of their wheeled carts without having to deal with spills of any kind.
So we have to do our part and get it ready for them. There is no one employed by MIT specifically to clean up after shop
users - you are all responsible for taking some ownership, for your own sake and out of consideration for all the
users of this shared space.
All our unique waste bins should have signs attached, indicating what goes into them - make sure you read them carefully-
there are specific things that can/cannot go into them.
We always have some scrap material around that is still usable and better to keep - there are scrap bins in both
wood shop spaces for "wood shop scrap" like plywood, solid wood, MDF, and other typical scrap.
There is some shelving by the laser cutters for larger pieces of usable scrap - please use this - and please keep
There is also a bin by the laser cutters for unusable sheet material like acrylic, masonite, and plywood.
These things cannot go into the single stream clear recycling bags, or the black plastic trash bags - they'd just
tear them apart.
On that note - please do NOT put any paper/cardboard laser cutter scrap into this bin - it is not for paper.
These sheets must get folded/torn up and put into the smaller bins by the door with the clear bags (single-stream
Please do NOT put any recyclable (single stream) waste into our shop scrap bins.
Cardboard scrap from laser cutting needs to go into the clear bag recycling bins, not the large scrap bins.
Shop trash like used blue gloves and dust masks need to go into the black trash bins.
Do NOT put wood or other sheet material scraps like acrylic or masonite into the recycling bins. They need to go into
the big scrap bins.
Contamination is a big problem with recycling - please make sure you're putting waste where it belongs.
A lot of our recycling gets contaminated with stuff like used gloves, wood scraps, and random plastic bags -
this kind of mixing of incompatible waste ruins efforts to recycle.
Persistent rumors about recycling being a myth mostly originate from the fact that people usually contaminate
recyclables from lack of education and lack of effort, to the point where they're unusable.
Please educate yourself on the many recycling streams MIT makes available to us, and do your best to use them
There are specific containers scattered around campus where different, more unusual things, like electronic waste,
light bulbs, plastic bags, etc. can be dropped off to be recycled. They do have very specific collection spots,
though - we have to put these things in the correct bins for the system to work.
If you want to use one of the more specialized drop off points that are not in publicly accessible locations
(at least currently, with access to many buildings being closed), you can ask us for help - a few of them are
in a mailroom that we use (plastic bags, batteries, electronic waste).