Waste Management & Recycling

The Northwest Building participates in the University's waste reduction initiatives through recycling, composting, and energy reduction measures.  Please familiarize yourself with the University's guidelines on waste reduction. Please consider participating in the University's Green Office initiative.

For lab-focused sustainability information, please visit our Lab Sustainability page under the "Resources" menu on this website.

If you’d like to learn more about Harvard’s efforts to reduce energy use and save resources across the campus, visit the Office For Sustainability webpage.


Harvard uses single-stream recycling, which means that all cans, bottles, paper, cardboard and plastics can go in the same bin. All offices, reception areas, classrooms, and meeting rooms should have a recycling bin as well as a trashcan. The bins will be emptied as needed. There are also compost bins for food waste in the café, as well as throughout the building. Items such as batteries and old keys should be dropped off in electronics recycling bucket in the trash room at the shipping area on L1. If you have large electronics to be recycled, please contact the Building Operations Office and we will arrange for pick-up. Please erase hard drives before recycling computers.

Biological Waste

The procedure for biological waste removal is as follows.  Lab members should place their full bio-waste bins in the main corridor outside their lab each night.  The evening custodial crew will collect the full bio-waste bags, replace new bags inside the container and leave the container in the corridor for retrieval by the lab members.

Hazardous Waste

Hazardous waste may be transfered by a lab member from lab spaces to the min-main collection areas located on each floor, L1 - L4.  Please contact Northwest Building Operations for collection location nearest to your lab.

For questions regarding biological and hazardous waste handling guidelines, please contact Bradford Parsons at 617-496-8414.

Contact Northwest Building Operations (496-6505) with questions regarding any of the waste-removal procedures listed above.