Material Matters

Materials Matters - MIT's waste and recycling data

MIT engaged a new waste hauling partner in 2020 called RTS to collect waste from the MIT campus in Cambridge as well as the Bates Research and Engineering Center and the Wallace Astrophysical Observatory. MIT and RTS are partnering to design out waste from campus by continuing to build out a dataset of campus-wide waste generation with monthly reporting.

The visualization below presents two monthly data series for calendar year 2020: (1) weights from MIT’s 6 large waste streams—as well as a group of hard-to-recycle items—that are regularly collected and tracked (bars plotted against the left axis); and (2) the diversion rate, which is the percentage of material not sent to incineration or landfill and includes recycling, food waste, yard waste, the hard-to-recycle items, and other diversion (blue line plotted against the right axis). Data for 2021 will be posted once processed by RTS.

The hard-to-recycle items data include: clothing, tires, wood pallets, mattresses, books, e-waste, and metal. MIT also diverted 147.6 yards of Styrofoam, which is not pictured in the figure. Regulated medical waste streams are not collected by RTS nor included in this data dashboard.

Click here to see definitions of terms used in this dashboard.