Individual Stream Details

These are definitions of terms used in the 2009-2019 Archived Waste Streams dashboard.


Individual Stream Details
Non-Housing Waste Mixed trash from academic, administrative, and operations buildings is transported away from campus by a contracted waste hauler and is primarily incinerated. 
Housing Waste Mixed trash from housing buildings (dorms) is transported by the MIT waste hauler off campus and is primarily incinerated.
Food Waste Food waste is collected from about 20 locations on campus and transported by a contracted food waste hauler to several Massachusetts farms for open air composting and re-processing into rich loam.  The largest generators of campus food waste are kitchens from dining operations.  At the moment, only food scraps can be collected for composting, but during some previous years this also included napkins, paper products and plant-based plastics.
Yard Waste Yard wastes (grass clippings, woody materials, leaves) are collected on campus by Grounds Services and transported by a contracted waste hauler to several Massachusetts farm and open air composting facilities. Much of the yard waste is re-processed into nutrient-rich loam.
E-waste and Technocycle Broken and unwanted large electronics (E-waste) such as desktops, copiers, microwaves, and monitors are collected by the Recycling Crew via online request forms. Smaller electronics (Technocycle) including cords, cell phones, and disks can be dropped off at Recycling Stations in many mailrooms on campus.  A contracted electronics waste hauler transports MIT electronics for separation, repurposing and recycling.  Data tracking in the dashboard for this stream excludes electronics from IS&T's reuse (and recycling) program of better quality/functioning items.
Wood Wooden pallets, shipping crates or other pieces of wood that are not mixed into Construction and Demolition waste are transported from campus by a contracted waste hauler. Much of the material is  processed into wood chips or particleboard. 
Metal Old pipes, metal furniture pieces, filing cabinets, materials from research projects or other items comprised of 75% metal are transported from campus by a scrap metal hauler for re-processing and recycling.
Single Stream Recycling Paper, plastic containers, glass, cardboard and aluminum materials are collected on campus and transported by both MIT Recycling Crew and a contracted recycling hauler. These materials are deliverd to a Materials Recovery Facility in Charlestown, MA and sorted for repurposing.
Universal Waste Burnted-out light bulbs, including mercury-containing bulbs like fluorescent, compact florescent, incandescent and ultraviolet as well as ballasts are collected by MIT Repair & Maintenance in universal waste stations located throughout campus. This stream is classified as hazardous and is transported from campus by a universal waste collection hauler.
C & D This includes construction and demolition waste from renovation projects managed by the Dept. of Facilities.  C&D waste from renovation projects is transported from campus by a C&D waste hauler.  This does not include the much larger volume of construction and demolition waste generated and handled by construction contractors during large building projects.
White Goods Large metal appliances, such as refrigerators, freezers, stoves, incubators, washing machines, traditionally  white in color, are collected on campus by MIT Materials and Recycling and transported from campus by a white goods hauler.
Toners Empty toner cartridges and inkjet cartridges collected are collected in mail rooms by Office of Materials and Recycling and transported from campus by an E-Waste recycler.  Toner and inkjet cartridges that are sent from a campus user directly to a supplier are not included in this figure. 
Got Books Books, CDs, DVDs, VHS tapes, and audio tapes collected from two Got Books bins on campus.  This stream that is tracked is primarily books. This does not include the books collected and resold for the Used Book Fair run by MIT Community Services Office. 
Batteries A wide range of battery types are collected at designated locations on campus and transported from campus by a E-Waste recycler. Types of batteries collected include: alkaline, rechargeable batteries such as nickel cadmium, nickel metal hydride, lithium ion (button batteries used in watches and hearing aids), laptop batteries and lead acid batteries.
Grease from kitchens (bio diesel) Used cooking oil (for instance from frialators) is collected from a number of large kitchens on campus and is recycled by a Biodiesel Collector to generate biodiesel that can be used as fuel for automobiles or home heating.
Plastic Bags (baled)
Also known as "film plastic", these thin, flexible sheets of plastic including single use plastic bags, shrink wrap, clean plastic wrap, deflated packing bubbles are collected in designated campus locations. This material cannot be processed with single stream recycling and is specially processed.
Planet Aid (Clothes reuse)
Donated used clothing that is collected from the three Planet Aid bins on campus.  This excludes the clothing collected on campus for reuse, sale or donation via Choose to Reuse and Trash2Treasure.
Mattresses Beginning in FY14, mattresses are included in the C&D stream.  
Tires This includes fleet vehicle tires that are no longer usable. They are collected on campus and picked-up for processing by a tire recycler.