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As a major consumer of natural resources, Harvard should take a leading role in conservation efforts, environmental experts said in a panel discussion at the Graduate School of Education last night.
One major way in which the University can protect the environment is by cutting back the paper waste it generates and the electricity it uses, the panelists told an audience of about 15 people at Longfellow Hall.
"The three R's are reduce, re-use, and recycle, in order of preference," said Robert Gogan, a graduate student in planning and social policy at the Ed School. "Harvard generates 6500 tons of trash per year, as much as a small city."
And Harold Hawkes, Harvard's associate director for engineering and utilities, said the University uses about 115 million kilowatts of electricity and 600 thousand tons of fuel annually--at a cost of $15 million. He said those figures can be reduced by monitoring of energy use more closely and improving insulation of buildings.
Energy expenditure can also be curtailed by improvement of the computer system that controls Harvard's power allocation, said Peter Cebon, a graduate student in management technology and public policy at MIT.
The University can save money by encouraging active recycling programs like the one recently implemented at the Kennedy School of Government, Cebon said. He said Harvard pays about $700,000 a year to dispose of unrecycled trash.
Last night's panel discussion, which was titled "Harvard's Impact on the Environment," was sponsored by the Union of Concerned Scientists as part of a week-long environmental awareness program involving 275 colleges and universities across the country.
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