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Stanford meets recycling goal five years early

STANFORD -- The Stanford community beat by five years a state- mandated goal of keeping 25 percent of solid waste from going to local landfills by the year 1995.

Nickie R. Paganucci of Peninsula Sanitary Service, which hauls garbage and manages recycling programs for Stanford, said that in 1990, the most recent calendar year for which complete figures are available, Stanford diverted 25.4 percent of its solid waste from being landfilled.

She credits the success to three things: the student-staffed Stanford Recycling Center, assertive recycling programs conducted by Peninsula Sanitary, and the cooperation and support of Stanford students, faculty, staff and residents.

Besides recycling, source reduction and reuse activities also contribute to the university's good record, she said. For instance, university cafeterias are reducing their use of disposable dinnerware, and the reuse of such items as wood pallets, particularly at the Medical Center, are diverting tonnage from the landfills.

It will take all that and more to meet the next goal, Paganucci said. The same state legislation that calls for all communities to divert a quarter of their solid waste by 1995 (Assembly Bill 939) raises the target to 50 percent by the year 2000.

The Stanford Recycling Center was established by the student government in 1976 with about $20,000 in start-up money, which provided the first collection vehicle, material for a shed, 500 55-gallon recycling drums, and operating costs for two years.

In 1978, the center employed eight people; today, the center has 50 part- and full-time staffers, most of whom are students.

The program includes collection services and a drop-off center. Materials accepted include glass jars and bottles, aluminum and tin cans, scrap aluminum, corrugated cardboard, newspapers, magazines, high-grade and mixed paper, telephone books, and several plastic compounds. The center's hours are Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Peninsula Sanitary Service has been the university's solid waste hauler since 1943. Besides the recycling services, the company provides faculty and staff refuse collection, yard waste collection services, and academic and office refuse collection services.

About 90 percent of the more than 800 faculty and staff campus households participate in the curbside recycling program, Paganucci said.

Areas identified by Paganucci for possible improvement include: faculty-staff yard waste, which currently makes up 11 percent of the waste stream to landfills from those residences; tin and bi-metal cans, which make up 6.2 percent of the waste stream from the Food Service; and glass. Currently only half the recyclable glass bottles and jars are being recycled on campus.

For more information, community members can contact the Stanford Recycling Center at 725-1230 or Peninsula Sanitary Service at 321-4236.



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