Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

Document Sample
Frequently Asked Questions FAQ Powered By Docstoc
					Lab Sustainability Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
October 2009 –

          How do I report a sink/faucet leak?
           - To report a leaky faucet or sink, place a service request to your Repair & Maintenance (R&M) Zone
           manager through SAP.

          Who do I contact to report heating & cooling issues?
           - Report heating & cooling issues to your Repair & Maintenance (R&M) Zone manger through SAP.

          How do I set the energy saving modes on my computer?
           - Guidelines for setting energy saving modes for your monitors & computers are provided in the
           Sustainability Tool Kit . It’s a simple step that only takes a few minutes.

          Who should I contact to fix my Chemical Fume Hood?
           - First determine the issue. For a repair (broken sash or panel, fan issues, etc), place a service request to
           Repair & Maintenance (R&M) through SAP. For hood performance issues (alarms) or to have the airflow
           measured, contact EHS via email,, or by calling 452.3477. It’s always a good idea
           to send a note to the EHS Office so any troubleshooting can be preformed in the event Facilities can’t fix
           the problem.

          Who should I contact to fix my Bio-Safety Cabinet?
           - Bio-Safety Cabinet (BSC) repairs are done by outside vendors certified under NSF49. Contact your
           lab’s BSC vendor for any repair issues or certifications needed. The PI covers the cost of labor, parts &
           repair, unless there is a preexisting service contract with the DLC.

          What types of lab trash can be recycled through the MIT recycling program (i.e. in the provided desk side
           or recycling bin)?
           - Labs generate a lot of trash, some of which can and should be recycled when possible, provided the
           material is not contaminated. Please refer to the current Lab Recycling Guideline on the EHS website for
           specific information. For your convenience please place your recyclables in the existing lab recycling
           receptacles, which are emptied by the Department of Facilities Custodial staff.
           *Lab Recycling Guideline –
           *Guidelines for lab specific recycling flyer -

          How do I get a recycling bin for my lab?
           - To obtain a desk side bin at no charge, place an order through the Building Services tab in SAP.
           Delivery takes about a week. Larger bins, or Slim Jims, are ordered by the department through Office
           Depot via eCAT3 for a low price and quick delivery.

          What should I do with electronic waste?
           - Any mid and large sized e-waste items; such as, monitors, CPUs, televisions, printers, copiers,
           electronic equipment and their associated components (mice, keyboards, speakers, etc) should be
           managed as Electronic Waste through the Department of Facilities. Schedule a pick up of these items
           using the Department of Facilities SAP form for free removal (if weighing less than 50lbs).

created by Niamh Kelly, EHS Sustainability Program
reviewed by EHS Office, Facilities Custodial Services & Recycling Program
      How do I dispose of larger pieces of electronic equipment or white goods; such as, refrigerators, freezers,
           microwaves, centrifuges, etc?
           - Follow the EHS Deactivating and Decommissioning Equipment SOP and work with the MIT Property
           Office before contacting the Department of Facilities Grounds & Movers to schedule a pick up for
           removal and recycling. Contact the EHS Office with specific questions at

      What types of batteries can be recycled at MIT and where do I bring them?
           - As of October 2009 MIT accepts ALL types of batteries, including domestically manufactured alkaline
           batteries, which made after 1994 no longer contain mercury. In addition, rechargeable batteries; such as,
           nickel cadmium, nickel metal hydride, lithium ion (button batteries used in watches and hearing aids), lap
           top batteries and the lead acid batteries, MUST be recycled. In order to effectively collect batteries for
           proper disposal, MIT has placed battery collection containers throughout campus. Batteries can be
           dropped off at the following locations: E19 stock room, VWR stock room in the basement of 56, EHS
           Office in N52-496, Facilities Office in NE49-2000, all MIT dormitories, W20 and Stata recycling areas
           and in most MIT mail rooms. Batteries from old cell phones should be removed from the cell phones and
           recycled in this manner. Battery terminals should be taped as a fire prevention measure during
           collection and transportation. As of July 2009, batteries should NOT be placed in Techno-Cycle bins.

          How do I get rid of fluorescent light bulbs – CFLs, straight, UV from bio-safety cabinets, etc?
           - Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulbs contain mercury and must be collected for recycling. 4’ & 8’
           Fluorescent Lamps are collected for recycling by the Department of Facilities Repair & Maintenance
           Zone. If your lab has individual CFL or UV light bulbs to recycle, place the intact bulb in your SAA and
           place a request for Hazardous Waste pickup.

          What do I do with plastic bags?
           - Collect plastic shopping bags and other thin plastic items (plastic bubble wrap & films from packaging)
           and mail to NW62 attn: Grounds, for recycling or place them in the collection bins in W20 and 32
           (Stata). Custodians do not pick these up for recycling.

          Can I recycle broken glassware?
           - Recycling clean broken glassware is done on a case by case basis due to safety requirements.

           Non-Biological Labs - YES:
           a) Collect the clean broken glassware in a puncture proof container, such as the VWR broken glassware
           cardboard box.
           b) Label the container clearly so NO gloves, wipes, napkins or other trash items enter the container.
           c) When full or no longer needed tape the container closed, label for RECYCLE and put with the other
           lab trash & recycling receptacles for Custodial Services to remove from the lab.

           Biological Labs – case by case:
           a) Clean, unbroken, glassware and bottles may be recycled.
           b) Collect all broken glassware in the provided Bio-sharps containers. The VWR Broken Glassware
           boxes cannot be used in biological research laboratories. Past attempts at allowing these boxes in
           biological research laboratories showed that gloves, agar plates, used pipettes, tissue culture flasks, etc.
           ended up in these boxes along with some broken glassware. This mixing of contaminated research
           materials with the supposedly “clean” broken glass led to several expensive and time consuming
           incidents during disposal. Again, all broken glassware including broken bottles from biological research
           laboratories should be placed in the Bio-sharps containers.

created by Niamh Kelly, EHS Sustainability Program
reviewed by EHS Office, Facilities Custodial Services & Recycling Program
          What vendor take back programs exist on campus?
           - Several lab suppliers take back their materials for recycling and reuse. Please refer to the Lab Recycling
           Guidelines for details.

          Why do I need to break down cardboard boxes?
           - Breaking down cardboard boxes allows for easier handling by the Custodial staff that brings them to the
           recycling compactor or loading dock. It also allows for more cardboard to fit in the compactor.
          What trash do we put in the hallway?
           - From a Health & Safety standpoint, hallways should be free and clear of obstacles to allow for safe
           evacuation from a building during an emergency. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration
           (OSHA) & Cambridge Fire Department standards indicate the need for 44 inch access within an exit
           corridor and 3’ or 36” access within a lab be maintained at all times. With that said, if your hallway space
           meets these requirements, you can place flattened cardboard boxes in the hallway for easier collection by
           Custodians. Please try to keep all trash and recyclable items in one common area in the lab for routine
           collection and removal.

          What do I do with packing-peanuts?
           - Packing peanuts, bubble wrap and other packing materials can be collected for future use by your lab or
           department or can be sent to Mail Services in WW15 for reuse.

          What types of items can be posted to ReUse@MIT?
           - ReUse is a service, managed through mailing lists, for exchanging free and for-sale items within the
           MIT community. Please do NOT post un-usable computer monitors to this list for reuse as these are a
           waste and should be managed through Facilities.

          Are there chemical solvent reuse options at MIT? If so, what information is available and where can I
           find it?
           - The EHS Office encourages the sharing of overstock chemicals with other labs rather than disposing of
           these chemicals as hazardous waste. Currently there is no official tracking system available, but if your
           lab has surplus chemicals that they would like to share with other labs please send an email to
  and the Hazardous Waste Management Team will work within the Management
           System’s network to find a home for these materials. If you’re lab is looking for a certain chemical feel
           free to contact EHS for assistance.

          Does MIT have a mechanism for finding green solvent alternatives?
           - The Green Chemical Alternatives Purchasing Wizard is a good tool for finding chemical alternatives.
           Refer to the academic pages of the EHS Website for more information on the Green Chemical Wizard
           and how it works.

          Is there a list of more environmentally friendly chemical alternatives?
           - Working Green at MIT contains several lists of alternatives worth checking out.

created by Niamh Kelly, EHS Sustainability Program
reviewed by EHS Office, Facilities Custodial Services & Recycling Program
          How can you tell the difference between a Constant Air Volume (CAV) and a Variable Air Volume
           (VAV) fume hood?
           - Many of the MIT campus VAV fume hoods will have a Phoenix control module at the front of the hood
           similar to the one pictured below. It can be distinguished from a regular airflow monitor in that it has a
           button indicating emergency exhaust.

          Where can we find energy star fridges?
           - A list of Energy Star rated refrigerators can be found through the Energy Star website.

          What do I do with Styrofoam?
           - Although Styrofoam or polystyrene containers and packaging materials tend to have a recycling number
           6 they are not recyclable at MIT or in most communities. Items that cannot be reused or sent back to the
           manufacturer should go in the trash. Contact your Bio-Safety rep via regarding
           reuse of Styrofoam containers for biological shipments. If your vendor will take the containers back
           please utilize that route and contact to let the Sustainability Office know of this
           service so we may extend it to other labs.

          What do I do with ice packs?
           - Due to the material inside the standard ice pack or blue pack these items should be reused or disposed
           of in the trash. If your vendor will take the ice packs back please utilize that route and contact
  to let the Sustainability Office know of this service so we may extend it to other

          My lab doesn’t want the Custodians to turn off the lights in our lab each night for safety purposes. How
           do we inform them we want to “Opt Out”?
           - The Institute has made a commitment to saving energy and reducing its carbon footprint. One of the
           operational practices put in place to achieve this goal is to turn off lights in spaces around campus when
           there are no occupants present. However, we understand that some labs will wish to opt out of this lights
           out campaign for safety and security purposes. If your lab wishes to have the lights left ON at night
           please place a request through for “Lights On” stickers which upon receipt should
           be placed above the light switches by the door so the Custodial staff knows to leave the lights on within
           your lab.

          Can I shut the Bio Safety Cabinet in my lab off to save energy?

           - Biological Safety Cabinets are designed to run constantly. This protects and maintains the sterility of
           the interior work area. If the BSC is shut off, when researchers turn the BSC on, allow it to run for a few
           minutes, wipe down the whole interior of the cabinet with disinfectant. Allow the cabinet to run for a few
           minutes more before placing anything in the BSC. If materials that are to be used are left in cabinet
           while it is off, remove these materials while wiping down the interior work area and wipe the outer
           surfaces of these materials before placing them back in the BSC.

created by Niamh Kelly, EHS Sustainability Program
reviewed by EHS Office, Facilities Custodial Services & Recycling Program