Frequently Asked Questions

Audiovisual Services

How do I reserve audiovisual equipment and services for an event?

All A/V equipment and services can be requested by contacting us. Equipment lending is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Mail/Copy Center

What is the schedule for pick up and delivery of mail?

The Penn Engineering mail room is located in 166 Levine Hall (just inside the Walnut Street entrance). Their schedule for pick up and delivery of mail is usually between the hours 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

What is the correct way to address an inter-office envelope?

Please use a complete campus address. A complete address includes:

Addressee’s full name
Room/Lab number
Full Building name
Correct Mail Code

Can the Distribution Center staff accept a Federal Express package?

The mail room does not deliver FedEx packages. It only delivers USPS, UPS, Fisher, R.P.S. and D.H.L.

What time does UPS arrive?

UPS deliveries arrive between 10a.m. and 12:00 p.m. (noon).

Does the mail room handle United States Postal Service (USPS) mail?

The mail room has a postage scale if you need to weigh a piece of mail for postage, but it does not supply USPS stamps and any other Mail (U.S.P.S.) supplies. Items with postage affixed can be dropped for USPS pickup.

Infectious (Biohazardous) Waste and Glassware/Plasticware Removal

How do I establish new service?

Before a lab is placed on the schedule for infectious waste pickup, it should contact our office to register and to be briefed on the process. During this time, the principal investigator (PI) of the lab is provided with standard information regarding this process.

PIs or lab managers are responsible for completing the registration form. For more detailed information concerning infectious waste management, please refer to the EHRS website or call EHRS at 215-898-4453.

Is there a difference in containers for biohazardous waste, sharps and glassware?

Yes, there is a difference.

  • Infectious (biohazardous) waste containers are used strictly as satellite accumulation receptacles to dispose of decontaminated infectious (biohazardous) waste that has been autoclaved. The boxes and their red bag liners are found in the autoclave rooms and should be placed near an autoclave. This is the only place where Stericycle will collect materials for removal.
  • Sharps containers are used to discard all needles, syringes and other contaminated sharps. For a definition of infectious waste sharps and the policy regarding sharps disposal, got to the EHRS website. Each lab is responsible for purchasing their own sharps containers from their medical supplier. When purchasing containers, they must be puncture resistant, closable, leak proof, rigid, autoclavable and labeled with the universal biohazard symbol. Some people use large empty plastic containers (original labels defaced), keep the cap and place a biohazard symbol on the container. The problem that sometimes occurs in these cases is that the container they choose will not fit in an autoclave or may melt because it is not autoclavable.
  • Laboratory Glassware and Plasticware is disposed of in Glassware boxes that are purchased by the lab. The boxes are used to dispose of glassware and plasticware, such as non infectious pipettes, empty bottles, broken glassware and non infectious sharp objects that have the potential to penetrate regular trash bags. Boxes are picked up by housekeepers as long as they are labeled and taped up ready for pick up. The lab is required to purchase those boxes to ensure there is no glass in the regular trash to help prevent potential injuries to housekeepers.

The policy regarding disposal of Laboratory Glassware and Plasticware is available on the EHRS website and should be referred to for complete information.

Is there a charge for Infectious Waste containers?

Infectious (biohazardous) waste boxes and the red bag liners are supplied by Stericycle at no cost.

Each lab must purchase their own sharps containers. Operational Services does not  pay for these items.

How often is infectious (biohazardous) waste picked up from labs?

Pickups are scheduled weekly, but if earlier pickup is needed, a two day notice is required. Please contact us to make arrangements.

General Operations

Who do I contact to move phones, install new service or repair an existing phone or line?

Contact Penn Information Systems and Computing (ISC) via their website.

Who can I contact if there is a problem with the temperature in a laboratory cold room?

If your unit goes into a temperature alarm, please contact 215-898-5598 and report the building and location to EOS. A mechanic will be dispatched. If you fail to observe a mechanic within one (1) hour time frame, please contact EOS again.

What is the time frame for feeling adjustments in temperature in heating and cooling?

Adjustments in temperature may take up to several hours to be felt. In many instances, the systems are working for an entire building, not just a single office or classroom. Changing the thermostat does not cause an instantaneous change in the temperature. If you do call in with a complaint of being too hot or too cold, please be patient while the adjustment takes effect.

For after-hours temperature problems, call Facilities after-hours Customer Service at 215-746-6620.

Who should I contact for bathroom supplies?

Please contact EOS with your service request.

What is the process for calling in clogged toilets, overflowing sinks and similar problems?

Please contact EOS with your service request.

What is the process for replacing lightbulbs?

Please contact EOS with your service request.

Does EOS supply trash cans?

No. Should you need trash cans, you must order them as you would order any other type of office supply.

How about recycling bins?

No. Should you need recycling bins, you must order them as you would order any other type of office supply.

How often can I expect to have my office windows cleaned?

All interior and exterior window surfaces are cleaned once per year during the spring season.

How can I have my carpets shampooed?

Carpets are shampooed annually on the Housekeeping budget; additional requests require a budget code. If you want your carpets shampooed, please contact EOS with your service request.

What kinds of signs may I request?

You may request signs that are needed to identify an office, lab, room or special-use area. Signs are to provide information and indicate special instructions. Most signs have a predetermined size, format and lettering type.

Can my department be a little creative when designing signs?

No, there is a standard format for all office and laboratory signs.

Should workers (mechanics/technicians/carpenters etc.) communicate their findings or status of work to the people who occupy the space in which the work is being done?

Feel free to discuss the issue with the personnel who come to your office to fix a repair or install a fixture. You can best explain the nature of the job. If you have a complaint or problem with the work, please contact EOS.