Waste reduction and recycling
For SMUD, landfills are a last resort. In 2010, more than 60% of our solid material waste was sent elsewhere, mostly through recycling. In our utility operations, it means our wooden pallets and cable reels along with scrap transformers (those without PCBs). In our offices, it includes everyday items like paper, cardboard, bottles and cans to electronic waste such as old computers and printers.
Where we can, we choose materials that are better for the environment. We’ve switched to vegetable oil in our transformers, avoiding oil that contains unhealthy PCBs. Other choices include using water-based paints and non-chlorinated cleaners.
SMUD’s own buildings are designed to be energy efficient and reduce their impact on the environment. SMUD’s Customer Service Center, at 65th and S streets in East Sacramento, won the highest award given for energy efficiency and environmental design. The Platinum Award from the Leadership in Energy Efficiency and Environmental Design (LEED) was awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council in April 2007.
A new corporate yard is under way at Kiefer Boulevard and Bradshaw Road. The East Campus Operations Center will be a LEED platinum certified/zero-energy facility.
All new SMUD buildings will be LEED certified at least at the silver level.
SMUD is reducing its vehicle emissions through a variety of ways. We are using low carbon fuels, and investing in electric and hybrid vehicles. Currently 18% of SMUD’s 1,200 vehicle fleet consists of hybrid or electric vehicles. We repair and service our vehicles under the Clean Shops program.
SMUD is developing a Sustainable Purchasing program to generate less waste, use more recycled products, support renewable energy, increase energy efficiency, and reduce emissions.