FAQs
U-M Hospitals and Health Centers

How can I obtain a paper recycling bin?

At the hospitals and health centers, the office size bins (product code K62956-73) as well as the larger 23-gallon slim jims (product code K63540-06) can be ordered from OfficeMax. Larger, locked confidential bins can be requested from Facilities Services (Maintenance) using the Support Services Link.

Does leaving lights on consume LESS energy than turning them off & on frequently?

Except for some very specific circumstances, it is always better to turn off lights when the rooms are not occupied. There is a slight reduction in lamp life when lights are turned off & on frequently. However, the energy saved by turning off lights will far outweigh the slight reduction in lamp life. For information pertaining to lighting, please visit the following website: http://www.plant.bf.umich.edu/utilities/energy_management/lighting/

Can paper with staples or paperclips be recycled?

Neither staples nor paper clips need to be removed from paper. Both are removed at the paper mill using magnets, screens and filters during the pulping process. Recycle all your office paper, newspapers and magazines.

My office is in a building that has operable windows. Does using the operable windows save energy when compared to using the buildings normal heating/cooling system?

In general, opening windows cause temperature and humidity fluctuations that can affect the balance of the entire building. As a result, the buildings heating and cooling equipment expend more energy. Keep your windows closed to save energy.

How much energy does a compact fluorescent light bulb save?

Compact fluorescent lights save approximately 75% of the energy and last 10 times longer than a comparable incandescent light bulb.

Isn't using compact fluorescent lamps (CFL's) worse for the environment because of the mercury they contain?

While it is true that CFL's contain a very small amount of mercury (an average of 4 milligrams per lamp. By comparison, older thermometers contain about 500 milligrams of mercury - an amount equal to the mercury in 125 CFL's), electricity use is the main source of mercury emissions in the U.S. Since CFL's use less electricity than incandescent lights, CFL's have an approximate 70% reduction in mercury emissions compared to incandescent lights. Therefore, CFL's are much better for the environment than the old standard incandescent lights. This being stated, you should contact your local government and local recycling center to determine the proper method of recycling/disposal of CFL's. For more facts and proper handling procedures for CFL's please visit the U.S. government's Energy Star website. For proper disposal of CFL's in any UMHHC building, please contact Facilities Utilities & Waste Management - 936-7521.

What type and sizes of batteries can be recycled at UMHHC and whom do I contact for battery disposal?

UMHHC can recycle all types and sizes of batteries. Batteries can contain heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, and nickel, which can contaminate the environment when disposed of improperly. Recycling batteries keeps heavy metals out of landfills and the toxins out of our soil, water and air. Recycling also saves resources because recovered plastics and metals can be used to make new batteries. Another way to reduce the number of batteries in the waste stream is to purchase rechargeable batteries. (Source U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). For instructions on how to recycle batteries in your area at the Hospitals and Health Centers, visit: http://www.med.umich.edu/i/safety/Waste/BatteryDisposal.shtml (U-M Health System Internal only).