Waste


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

We are making great progress. We’ve increased our landfill diversion rate from 30 percent in 1994 to 62 percent in 2011. 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

Our initial goal is to increase Stanford’s rate of waste diverted from landfill to 75 percent.

In 2011, our Waste Reduction and Recycling Program diverted more than 12,814 tons of materials from landfills, including:

  • 3,245 tons of construction and demolition debris reused or recycled
  • 6,003 tons of organic and compostable material composted or reused
  • 721 tons of plastic, metal, and glass recycled
  • 2,712 tons of paper and cardboard recycled
  • 131 tons of electronic waste recycled or reused

These efforts saved an estimated 64,042 million British thermal units (Btu) of energy in 2011—enough to power more than 570 homes for one year. We reduced air emissions (including carbon dioxide and methane) by 3,820 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent and waterborne waste by 17 tons. We’ve also saved 32,115 trees and eliminated the need for 414 tons of iron ore, coal and limestone.

“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.
Stanford completed 50 major water efficiency retrofit projects from 2001 through 2008, pushing down average domestic use from 2.7 million gallons per day (mgd) in 2000-01 to less than 2.3 mgd in 2007-08, despite campus growth.
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 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)