Waste reduction

The Harvard Chan School is working to accelerate a zero-waste future.


The EcoOpportunity Reuse Room accepts office supplies and lab equipment that can be reused by students, faculty, and staff. Harvard affiliates can bring donations and pick up items for free. No donation is required to shop. The Reuse Room is a partnership between Harvard Chan Operations Office and the EcoOpportunity team.

In addition, Harvard’s Recycling and Surplus Center, located in Allston, makes furniture, textiles, and a wide variety of items available free to anyone on a first-come, first-served basis.


Harvard Chan School employs single stream recycling campus-wide. All recyclable materials can go in the same bin.

Accepted in single stream recycling:

  • Cardboard, paper, and magazines
  • Clean and emptied glass bottles and jars
  • Clean and emptied plastic bottles, jars, jugs, and tubs
  • Clean and emptied food and beverage cans

NOT accepted in single stream recycling:

  • Plastic bags and other film
  • Clothes or linen
  • Tanglers – cords, wires, holiday lights
  • Batteries
  • Scrap metal

Click here to learn more about recycling at Harvard.

The School has also implemented e-waste and other special items recycling programs:


Sustainably dispose of e-waste, including chargers and adapters, electrical cords, broken keyboards, mice, and monitors, by dropping them off in the designated bin at HSPH Building 1 loading dock ramp.

Please note: for electronics with data (phones, laptops, USB drives), please contact HSPH IT.

Put all types of batteries into the blue battery tubes found across campus.  Batteries’ terminals need to be taped/covered to prevent fire. If there is any damaged lithium battery, please contact Environmental Health & Safety.

Spent light bulbs (desk lamps/floor lamps) should be kept in a box to prevent breakage and the box labeled “Universal Waste – spent light bulbs”. The box can be placed by the blue battery tubes.  If mercury-containing light bulbs are generated in a lab, they can be tagged as Universal Waste and a hazardous waste pickup request should be placed. Find the pickup request form here.


Shattuck International House residents can drop off in designated collection bins clean textiles*  to be reused or recycled (when reuse is not possible) saving valuable resources and preventing unnecessary waste.

*Accepted items: clean clothes, shoes, bedding, towels, curtains, fabric, and similar products.

Ink and Toner Cartridge

W.B. Mason can pick up used toner/ink cartridges. For more information, please reach out to the vendor.

For toner cartridges from Harvard’s preferred vendor Ricoh, click here to learn more about their Consumables Take Back Program.


In 2009, Sebastian’s Café at Harvard Chan School introduced a post-consumer composting program. The Café offers compostable plates, cups, cutlery, and to-go containers.