Campus Composting, Part 2: Pushing the Boundaries
Stanford University, a residential research university, located in between San Francisco and San Jose, CA has a population of 35,000 students, staff and faculty. The University started recycling in the 1970’s as a student run operation and evolved over the last 30+ plus years to become one of the largest university recycling programs in the country. This presentation will focus on our comprehensive composting collection and education programs.
Stanford University has composted its yard trimmings and practiced grasscycling, mulching and chipping for over the last 30 years.In addition, we manage 5000 cy of horse manure from the Stanford Barn on site with an Agriculture Storage and Handling Facility permit. Starting in 2003, we began food scraps collectionin our dining halls and then expanded collection to student housing, 35 cafes, events, 5 preschool and elementary schools, faculty staff housing,academic buildings, and athletics facilities including our football stadium and tailgating areas. We collect about 2000 tons of food scraps and 1700 tons of yard trimmings per year. We also work with students and our dining halls to collect and rescue over 35 tons of food for donation.
We take our compostables to two different facility. Food rich loads go to SAFE –Sustainable Alternative Feed Enterprises, a process that was developed by the owner of PSSI, Louie Pellegrini, where they dehydrate the food and turn it into animal feed. Yard trimmings are sent to Republic’s Newby Island Compost Facility to make great soil.
We educate our students, staff and faculty through Stanford Sustainability campaign, RecycleMania, and My Cardinal Green, an online incentive program that encourages the campus community to take sustainable actions and rewards them with money.We also work with student groups to help educate students during New Student Orientation and throughout the year in the dorms. We spend a lot of time teaching people how to distinguish between what is compostable and what is not and how to purchase the correct items on our campus wide procurement system. We work with our cafes to train their staff, provide signage and push them to provide compostable only serviceware and we educate our preschool and elementary students by providing rewards for zero waste lunches and proper sorting. Lastly, although too new to say much about it now, by January 2019, we will have started our partnership with Silicon Valley Food Rescue, to rescue even more food than we already do.
This presentation can pick and choose amongst Stanford’s many compost programs or speak about thecomprehensive overall program. The focus will be on implementation, bin selection, service details, costs, outreach and education, and evaluationof the different programs. Finally, we will talk about our next steps toward Zero Waste by 2030.