Stanford University Medical Center | Landfill Avoidance

Stanford University Medical Center's waste management program includes landfill diversion tactics such as recycling, composting and source reduction.  In addition to its -established single stream recycling program, Stanford continues to activate recycling programs. .  In August 2012, Stanford  partnered with the Healthcare Plastics Recycling Council to conduct a study on the potential for capturing plastic materials from clinical areas.  After measuring the potential recycling volumes extrapolated to annual patient throughput, Stanford has developed a new target goal of “Chasing 100” – an addition 100 tons of diversion. 

The composting of kitchen and cafeteria waste, “Operation Clean Sweep” decluttering events, office supply swap meets, the digitalization of printed forms and manuals, electronic paystubs and online purchase requisitions and check request systems all help Stanford move closer to their goal--to divert waste from the landfill and incinerator in the most economic and regulatory compliant manner feasible. The  composting program is projected to divert 18 additional tons per year from the landfill, while the conversion to an online work-order management system is saving 106,000 sheets of paperannually.  The development of a LEAN 5S Sustainability Guide has been essential in helping staff evaluate the 3R’s and energy saving efforts as they embark on LEAN operating practices.  In 2012, Stanford partnered with Key Green Solutions to implement a sustainability dashboard software program that  allowed the organization to see how much it was saving by keeping waste out of the landfill, minus any costs of diverting the waste.  As a result, Stanford achieved more than  $750,000 in cost avoidance in 2012, with a landfill diversion rate more than 35 percent.