Abandoned items in the halls are not just unsightly, they are unsafe. Often, the corridors act as an emergency egress route. If the route is obstructed by equipment or boxes, someone needing to exit quickly could easily trip and injure themselves and possibly others. In 2011, MIT had two active fires and several gas leaks, all of which required occupants to evacuate their respective buildings.
Not only is a clear evacuation route important for a building occupiers in an emergency situation, it is equally important for the emergency responders, such as the Cambridge Fire Department or MIT Medical. Every year, the Environment, Health and Safety Program (EHS) joins forces with Cambridge Inspectional Services and tours all of our buildings on campus with an eye for fire and life safety.
In the spring of 2012, the Department of Facilities and EHS began to promote the need for clear hallways. Facilities is piloting a program to remove unwanted items at no charge to the MIT community by suspending its disposal costs for items that weigh more than 50 pounds. Through the fall, there will be no cost to remove any items including white goods. After December, Facilities will reassess the program and may continue the free service.
Facilities is especially interested in items that are now in the halls, but will take any items including those from your office or lab. Prior to removal, contact the Property Office to deactivate any electronic items and delete contents from computers. After that, go to the Building Services tab in SAPWeb to submit a work order to initiate the process. Additional details are available on the Facilities website in the Recycling FAQ section.
Beginning in mid-August, Custodial Services will collaborate with Facilities Customer Service Center (CSC) to collect information on items left in hallways. The Custodial Services supervisors will tag and photograph items that appear to be abandoned. The CSC staff will email a photo of the item to occupants in that particular building to request information on the status of the item. If no one contacts the Customer Service Center staff within 30 days, the item will be designated for removal.
With the help of the community the Institute can be a more aesthetically appealing campus, meet regulatory code, and provide a safe environment to live, work and visit.