Custodial Services

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Custodial Services

Campus Operations provides a full custodial cleaning program for the campus buildings.  Standard daily cleaning services include trash removal, dusting, floor washing and vacuuming, as well as floor stripping/waxing and rug shampooing.  Custodial Services provides all labor, equipment, and supplies (including restroom supplies and trash bags).

For specialty cleaning and custodial related emergencies, please contact the Facilities Call Center (24 hours a day 7 days a week) at 617-432-1901.

Harvard has a goal to reduce waste per capita 50% by 2020, from a 2006 baseline, with an aspirational goal of zero waste. Harvard is focused on operating an efficient campus that incentivizes reuse and minimizes the amount of waste we produce. We are also focused on minimizing, or the responsible and ethical recycling and disposing of, hazardous and electronic materials. More information on how Harvard is addressing this topic cab be found at:

Compost, Recycling and Waste

As part of the campus-wide sustainability effort, Harvard Medical School provides waste-stream services and bins for all offices, labs, and common areas. To help the community sort items correctly HMS established bins standards with color cues and integrated Signage to consistently communicate best-practices for disposal of waste items,

Office in need of new bins should contact Custodial Services for consultation on the appropriate solution for your office, kitchenette, or laboratory.

Compost: To help capture the compostable waste, compost bins are included at Strategic stations, such as dining facilities and office kitchenettes, to increase the convenience of composting. 

Recycling: Custodial staff removes single-stream recycling (all recyclables go in the same bin) as part of their regular cleaning routine and periodically collect lower volume recyclables, such as electronics, CFL bulbs, batteries, and printer cartridges from designated areas across campus.  Additional information on recycling, bin requests, and maps of pick up areas can be found at:

Biohazard Removal

The Custodial Department is responsible for the pickup and removal of the biohazard waste boxes from the labs and buildings. The custodial department also supplies biohazard containers upon request. If you have any questions or need more information, please contact Facilities Call Center (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) at 617-432-1901.

Stericycle maintains an inventory of reusable sharps containers that are empty, disinfected, and ready for distribution.  Stock is to be handled exclusively by Stericycle staff.  Stericycle must account for all its two- and eight-gallon containers, so please do not take any containers from its service distribution area.


If your lab needs empty, replacement containers, alert Ed Paquin, Stericycle’s sharps service supervisor.  He may be reached at mobile 508.922.6397 or  If you cannot reach Ed, alert Louis Mello, HMS campus operations manager, at 2.2016 or


Office/Lab Equipment and Supplies

Large non-working equipment should be called in to the Facilities Call Center (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) at 617-432-1901.

Small non-working equipment can often be recycled as E-waste, please see “Compost, Recycling, and Waste” above for more information.

Small equipment, supplies, and furniture from labs and offices that is still in good working order and would be useful to others can be donated through a variety of channels. HMS holds biannual "Freecycles" for lab/office/personal supplies. Please contact to find out when the next freecycle will be held. Consumable items or equipment can be donated to Harvard University Recycling and Surplus Services. For more information, visit:

Additional questions can be directed to