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Waste Initiatives

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 percent aluminum cans, plastic bottles and glass jars
  • 17 percent office paper and paper packaging
  • 1 percent film plastic
  • 3 percent metals
  • 1 percent e-waste
  • 4 percent wood and construction/demolition
  • 4 percent reusables
  • 31 percent organics (food scraps and compostable service ware)
  • 1 percent toilet paper rolls (1/2 full)
  • 7 percent paper towels
  • 0 percent styrofoam
  • 24 percent real trash

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