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.