Harvard recycles, reuses, or composts more than half its waste, but there is room to further reduce the more than 6,300 tons the University sends to landfills each year, according to a recent audit.Rob Gogan, associate manager of recycling services in Harvard’s University Operations Services, presented a snapshot of the University’s progress on Thursday at the Geological Lecture Hall. The lecture was the latest in the “Trash Talk” series sponsored by the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology.For each member of the Harvard community, the University generated 307 pounds of trash and recycled, reused, or otherwise removed from the waste stream another 379 pounds in 2011. Of Harvard’s 14,078 tons of refuse, 25 percent was recycled in 2011, 23 percent was composted, 8 percent was reused or otherwise diverted from the waste stream, and 45 percent was disposed of, most in a landfill in New Hampshire.Harvard has made significant strides in reducing its waste in the past decade. In 2002, the record recycling rate for any month that year was just 34 percent. The University topped 50 percent in a month for the first time in October 2007. Today, Harvard’s recycling and reuse rate stands at about 55 percent annually. A recent audit, however, shows that there’s considerable room for improvement, which will be necessary if the University is to achieve its goal of zero waste by 2020.The audit, during which 50 bags of trash collected in Harvard Yard were torn open and inspected, showed 41 percent could have been recycled, another 38 percent could have been composted, and 4 percent could have been reused. Just 18 percent should have been shipped to the landfill according to current policies.The biggest trend in recycling has been the increase of composting, in which food, landscaping, and other organic waste is gathered, broken down, and trucked to nearby farms to be used as fertilizer, Gogan said. Harvard’s switch in recent years to single-stream recycling has aided the move to composting, Gogan said, by allowing recyclables to be gathered in one barrel instead of two, freeing up room for a composting barrel.Reuse efforts have also been gaining steam. Harvard hosts several events, such as FAS’s freecycle program, which make serviceable items available to those who need them. Similarly, Harvard Business School hosts a clothing swap.Local and global nonprofits have benefited from the reuse movement, Gogan said. One nonprofit sends usable materials — including a surprising number of crutches once used by students — to Haiti, unneeded dormitory beds have gone to an orphanage in El Salvador, and computers that would otherwise be recycled are instead donated to an Allston organization that refurbishes them and sells them at low cost to nonprofits.“We don’t want to waste anything,” Gogan said.
Cairo Santos lined up his kick and booted it through the uprights. It was the most important kick of his career, and it didn’t even count.It was during the last practice of fall camp during Santos’ freshman season, right before Tulane’s first game. Santos and Ryan Rome were in a heated competition for the starting job. Santos made all his attempts, and Rome did not.“It really humbles me that it came down to that one day, that one practice that I did better,” Santos said. “You never know what can happen with that one kick. That was one moment in my freshman year that was really defining.”Santos has come a long way since that moment. Now a senior kicker for Tulane, he won the Lou Groza Award last year for the nation’s best kicker. He went 21-for-21 on field-goal attempts last season, including a 57-yarder, and has yet to miss one in 2013.But Santos will enter Saturday’s game with a heavy heart. He learned Monday that his father, a stunt pilot, was killed in a plane crash the day before while in Brazil. Santos traveled home Monday for his father’s funeral on Tuesday. Santos’ host father David Burnett and special teams coach Barry Lamb both said he plans to be ready to play against Syracuse in the Carrier Dome.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I do believe it’s going to mean more to him,” Burnett said. “It’s going to be a struggle. Flying to Brazil and back and showing up on Friday to try and play football, but I do believe it will kind of be in remembrance of his father, and his father would want him to be there.”If Santos does play against the Orange, it will be another defining moment in a football career that, six years ago, seemed improbable.He came to the United States from Brazil as a 15-year-old soccer-playing high school sophomore with limited English skills and no background in football.When he first arrived with his host family in St. Augustine, Fla., as part of an exchange program, Santos said he was very homesick. He wanted to be in contact with his parents and sister, Talita, all the time.“It was a lot harder. When we first started, when I was 15, that first one or two months it was really hard,” Santos said. “I wanted to Skype them or call them almost every day.”While Santos has been in the United States, the Burnetts have acted as a second family. He was only supposed to stay a year with a program that was designed to help him learn English. Now he speaks the language fluently.Even though Santos came for English, he stayed for football — a sport he knew nothing about when he arrived in America.After his friends saw him kick a football, they encouraged him to try out for the team midway though the season. When his high school coach saw him make a 50-yarder, he said he had the opportunity to turn his right foot into a college scholarship.“My coaches told me when I tried out that I had range,” Santos said. “I could already kick from 50 yards. They told me that was impressive and something that would be very easy to get a scholarship to if you have the talent and performance.”About midway through his sophomore season of high school, Santos asked his host family if he could stay another year. The Burnetts didn’t need to think twice. He ended up sticking around for his last three years of high school and continues to spend all of his vacations from school with them.“He asked if we would consider taking him again. He didn’t want to go through the different process of picking a different family. He was very comfortable with us,” Burnett said. “His dad was very adamant that if he wanted to get good in business, he needed to learn English on a very intimate level.“We consider him our son.”Though Santos stayed in Florida for his kicking ability, Western Kentucky and Miami (Ohio) were the only schools besides Tulane that offered him a football scholarship. He also turned down a soccer scholarship from Gardner-Webb.Tulane is glad it took that chance. Lamb, the special teams coach, said he thinks very highly of Santos. He said that while Santos is a great teammate and friend, he is also very competitive and is zoned in during games.He noted that in last week’s win over Louisiana Tech, Santos made a 51-yard field goal despite a high snap and one of his teammates getting on the field late.“Cairo just kept his cool throughout the whole thing,” Lamb said. “He came over to the sidelines and just said, ‘Let’s get the kickoff team going.’ It was just business as usual.”On Saturday, Santos will take the field under far different circumstances. Burnett said that although Santos’ father never quite grasped the importance of football, he was behind his son no matter what.“When Cairo won the Lou Groza Award, his family came over and had no idea, even to that day, that football was such a big deal,” Burnett said. “It was really exciting to them.“Up until that point soccer was still king as far as his parents were concerned. They were always supportive of whatever Cairo wanted to do, or what he needed to do to make it work.” Comments Published on September 20, 2013 at 2:34 am Contact Sam: [email protected] | @SamBlum3 Facebook Twitter Google+