Waste

 

Minimizing waste contributes to a more sustainable Stanford in many ways. By using less, reusing more, recycling and composting, Stanford can preserve land, save energy, conserve water, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and preserve natural resources.

The university is making great progress. Stanford has increased its landfill diversion rate from 30 percent in 1994 to 64 percent in 2013. The university is continually improving collection activities, identifying new markets for waste materials and recyclables, and raising awareness so that “reduce, reuse, recycle and compost” becomes habit.

Goals & Results

Stanford's initial goal is to increase its rate of waste diverted from landfill to 75 percent by 2020. This will help pave the road to zero waste, which is defined as at least 90 percent diversion.

Stanford has performed 20 waste audits over the past 2 years, each with informative results. By weight, the trash dumpsters audited contained the following:

  • 7% Aluminum Cans, Plastic Bottles and Glass Jars
  • 17% Office Paper and Paper Packaging
  • 1% Film Plastic
  • 3% Metals
  • 1% E-Waste
  • 4% Wood and Construction/Demolition
  • 4% Reusables
  • 31% Organics: Food Scraps and Compostable Service Ware
  • 1% Toilet Paper Rolls (1/2 full)
  • 7% Paper Towels
  • 0% Styrofoam
  • 24% Real Trash

Stanford uses these findings to inform its recycling programs and ultimately increase the university's waste diversion rate. 

 

“If we are to leave our children a better world, we must take steps now to create a sustainable environment. So it is critical that we model sustainable citizenship on our own campus.”
—John Etchemendy
Provost, Stanford University
The Energy Retrofit Program has delivered an estimated cumulative savings of over 240 million kilowatt-hours of electricity since it began in 1993 – and prevented 72,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions.
New buildings must use 30 percent less energy and 25 percent less potable water than similar traditional buildings.
Systems retrofits to the most energy-intensive buildings on campus are expected to save $4.2 million a year and cut energy use by 28 percent.
About 40 percent of Stanford Dining produce is organic or regionally grown; some is even grown on campus.
About 60 percent of Stanford’s total contiguous land remains undeveloped.
Recycled paper is less expensive than virgin paper under the campus-wide office supply contract.
From 2002 to 2010, the percentage of Stanford employees driving alone to campus dropped from 72 to 48 percent.
Stanford diverted 64 percent of its solid waste from landfills in 2008—more than 14,500 tons.
Effective August 1, 2014:
Irrigation in Faculty & Staff Housing may occur only on Tuesday and Saturday nights for even numbered addresses, and Wednesday and Sunday nights for odd numbered addresses, between the hours of 7 pm and 7 am.
The goal of Sustainable IT is to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions generated by our IT infrastructure.
The goal of Sustainable IT is to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions generated by our IT infrastructure.
Stanford invests IN sustainability through a broad range of initiatives in research, education, efficiency improvement, conservation systems, new technology, student-led projects and more.
New buildings must use 30 percent less energy and 25 percent less potable water than similar traditional buildings.
New buildings must use 30 percent less energy and 25 percent less potable water than similar traditional buildings.
Systems retrofits to the most energy-intensive buildings on campus are expected to save $4.2 million a year and cut energy use by 28 percent.
About 40 percent of Stanford Dining produce is organic or regionally grown; some is even grown on campus.
From 2002 to 2008, the percentage of Stanford employees driving alone to campus dropped from 72 to 51 percent.
Stanford diverted 64 percent of its solid waste from landfills in 2008—more than 14,500 tons.
Stanford diverted 64 percent of its solid waste from landfills in 2008 – more than 14,500 tons.
The Energy Retrofit Program has delivered an estimated cumulative savings of over 240 million kilowatt-hours of electricity since it began in 1993—and prevented 72,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions.
Stanford completed 50 major water efficiency retrofit projects from 2001 through 2008, pushing down average domestic use from 2.7 million of gallons per day (mgd) in 2000–01 to less than 2.3 mgd in 2007–08, despite campus growth.
New buildings must use 30 percent less energy and 25 percent less potable water than similar traditional buildings.

RECOGNITION

American Forest and Paper Association,College/University Recycling Award (2009)

2nd Place, Gorilla Prize, RecycleMania Contest for Colleges and Universities for highest gross weight of diverted recyclables (2011)

National Recycling Coalition, Outstanding School Program (2002)