• Recycling 2010: Participated in Recyclemania for the fourth consecutive year with a final ranking of 107 out of 267. The cumulative recycling rate increased from 27.02% to 28.93%. Recycled a total of over 140,000 more lbs. than in 2009.

  • Recycling 2010: Three different types of outdoor recycling receptacles were introduced on the River Campus, including a solar powered trash compactor, to make recycling more available to those on the go.

  • Recycling 2010: Held third annual E-Waste Recycling Event and collected 34,851 lbs of electronics, which was 9,000 lbs more than collected during the previous year’s event.

  • Recycling 2010: Recycling/reuse as a percent of total waste for the entire University (River Campus, the Medical Center, Eastman School of Music, and the Memorial Art Gallery) reached 32.2%. Recycling has increased by more than 19% since 2006, when the total was 12.7%.

  • Recycling 2010: 300 new recycling containers were placed in academic and residential buildings on the River Campus. Educational posters with recycling guidance were framed above recycling containers in key areas of campus buildings. Incoming freshmen received a “door hanger” version of the recycling poster. Informational “InSTALLments” were also placed in bathroom stalls in each residential building.

  • Recycling 2010: Held the second annual “Move-out Cleanout” to collect goods that would have otherwise been discarded by students. Over 1,500 pounds of food and over 7,500 pounds of clothing and textiles were donated to local charities. By expanding the program to Riverview Apartments and increasing advertising efforts, the program’s first year donation total was exceeded by over 6,000 lbs., including over 1,500 pounds of electronics were recycled.

  • Recycling 2010: The University of Rochester Medical Center continued its partnership with InterVol, a local non-profit organization which redistributes unused medical supplies to countries, people, and animal shelters in need, including a relief effort in Haiti. Nearly ten tons (19,590 lbs.) of supplies were collected in 2010.

    Incubators donated to InterVol by Strong Memorial Hospital.
  • Recycling 2009: Participated in RecycleMania for a third consecutive year. Increased ranking to 99 out of 206, from 118 out of 175, with a 27.02% cumulative recycling rate. Promotional events included a weekly trivia contest in the Weekly Buzz, tabling, giving out free coffee coupons to people who were “caught green handed”, and selling recycled notebooks.

  • Recycling 2009: Recycling/reuse as a percent of total waste for the entire University (including River Campus, the Medical Center, Eastman School of Music, and the Memorial Art Gallery) reached 28.3%. Recycling has increased by more than 15% since 2006, when the total was 12.7%.

  • Recycling 2009: Installed a BigBelly® Solar powered trash compactor with accompanying plastic/metal/glass recycling unit located on Dandelion Square.

  • Recycling 2009: Held an End-of-Year Cleanout to capture goods that would normally be discarded during student move out period. Collected 350 pounds of food and over 2,600 pounds of clothing and textiles that were sent to local charities. Over 1,200 pounds of electronics were recycled.

  • Recycling 2009: Added designer recycling units to the Flaum Atrium at the Medical Center. A stainless steel trio design was chosen for aesthetics, serviceability, and longevity.

  • Recycling 2009: Initiated the University of Rochester recycling webpage: www.rochester.edu/sustainability/recycling/

  • Recycling 2009: Initiated a campus-wide standard for recycling containers, includes a trash container with designer labeled paper/cardboard and plastic/metal/glass containers, and recycling posters.

  • Recycling 2009: Surveyed the River Campus trash and recycling program. Recommending the purchase of more recycling units where needed. Project is 50% complete.

  • Recycling 2009: Installed a replacement cardboard compactor at Rush Rhees loading dock in September which resulted in an additional half ton of recyclables collected each week & equivalent reduction in waste.

  • Recycling 2009: Became an EPA WasteWise partner. Members are required to measure and report wastes and agree to reduce or recycle municipal solid waste.

  • Recycling 2009: DOE awarded Professors of Chemistry Kara Bren & Richard Eisenberg and Associate Professors of Chemistry Todd Krauss and Patrick Holland a $1.7 million grant from to use artificial photosynthesis and nanotubes to generate hydrogen fuel with sunlight.

  • Recycling 2009: Temperature setbacks were implemented (68 degrees in winter & 78 degrees in summer) resulting in $585,824 in energy savings.

  • Recycling 2009: Energy-Star rated washers & dryers were installed in Residence Halls to reduce energy use.

  • Recycling 2009: Policy enacted to consider alternative fuel vehicles prior to any vehicle purchase. Total alternative fuel vehicles: 7 hybrid vehicles, 1 electric mail services delivery vehicle, 6 Segways, and 12 GEM cars. The Zipcar program was expanded to Whipple Park and the Medical Center, totaling 6 available cars.

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  • Recycling 2009: The University of Rochester developed its relationship with New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) by establishing a single point NYSERDA contact that is tailored for both Academic and Medical Center energy reduction. The University of Rochester is currently exploring natural gas saving opportunities beyond our current electric savings.

  • Buildings / Landscaping

    Buildings / Landscaping 2010: IT Center installed energy efficient LED lighting on the bottom floor and soon will install on the second floor. This will save 111,000 kW/h per year in energy. This program will save a total of $10,000 each year, reducing annual carbon dioxide emissions by over 175,000 lbs each year.

  • Buildings / Landscaping 2010: Installed two variable speed drives (VSD) for the hot water system in Susan B. Anthony residence hall, resulting in $25,000 in annual energy savings.

  • Buildings / Landscaping 2010: Two projects involved retro-commissioning of existing buildings at a cost of $5,000 that reduced electrical consumption by 87,000 kWh.

  • Buildings / Landscaping 2010: The new data center was constructed to achieve an efficiency level 30% higher than the current building energy code. Additional cost was $551,400 with reduced electrical consumption of 1,268,750 kWh and avoided costs of $101,000 annually.

  • Buildings / Landscaping 2010: Sixty lights were retrofitted and forty-three occupancy sensors were installed throughout the Memorial Art Gallery. Annual energy savings is almost $1,000 with an annual electrical reduction of over 10,000 kWh.

  • Buildings / Landscaping 2010: Installed eighty-one occupancy sensors in Susan B. Anthony residence hall resulted in an annual energy savings of $700 and electrical reduction of over 7,500 kWh.

  • Buildings / Landscaping 2010: Hutchinson Hall’s air handling units were reprogrammed for utility optimization. Annual energy savings is $60,000 and electrical reduction is 87,000 kWh.

  • Buildings / Landscaping 2009: Construction of the Clinical Translation Science Building (200,000ft2 to house more than 600 scientists, physicians, nurses, statisticians, research administrators, and support staff) began. The building will be certified LEED Silver or higher.

  • Buildings / Landscaping 2009: Smart Growth principles implemented in University’s Campus Master Plan.

  • Buildings / Landscaping 2009: Replaced two constant speed drives with variable speed drives for the hot water system in Susan B. Anthony dormitory. Reduced energy consumption by 325,550 kWh saving $25,000 annually. Received a $4,500 New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) rebate which paid for half of the project cost. This project annually reduces UR’s carbon footprint by 293,500 lbs. (146 tons).

  • Buildings / Landscaping 2009: At the Memorial Art Gallery a mothballed economizer was restored to operation. The unit takes used heat from chillers to heat cold air for the dehumidifier units. By taking advantage of the free heat, the boilers were shutdown for the summer months. This reducing natural gas costs by $25,000 annually.

  • Buildings / Landscaping 2009: In Residential Life buildings, fan schedules were programmed into the building automation control system. Fan operation was reduced six hours per day from 24 hours per day in fourteen buildings. The result was an electrical savings of $13,000 annually and reduction of our carbon footprint of 155,000 lbs. (78 tons) annually.

  • Buildings / Landscaping 2009: Forty-eight (48) aerators were installed in the Memorial Art Gallery faucets saving approximately $1,750 annually in water, sewer & heating costs and substantially reducing water usage.

  • Energy 2010: Temperature setbacks continued (68 degrees in winter & 78 degrees in summer) resulting in over $400,000 in energy savings and a reduction of hot water consumption by over 28,000 mmBtu.

  • Energy 2010: The Association of Collegiate Union International (ACUI) presented the UR Biodiesel team an Excellence in Innovations for Sustainability Award, a national award.

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  • Energy 2010: The Saunders Research Building opened, which houses the Clinical and Translational Science Institute; the building will be the home to hundreds of new jobs and is projected by the Center for Governmental Research to bring $30 million per year to the community from grants and activity. The Saunders Research Building will be the first building at the University to formally receive LEED certification.

  • Energy 2010: The University of Rochester is strengthening its commitment to sustainability by extending its purchase of renewable energy credits (RECs), using wind energy to power 100 percent of the electricity used in residential life buildings on the River Campus. The University purchased 10,000,000 kWh (kilowatt hours) of RECs for the next two years.

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  • Energy 2010: Researchers at the University of Rochester's Institute of Optics have discovered a way to make liquid flow vertically upward along a silicon surface, overcoming the pull of gravity, without pumps or other mechanical devices. In a paper in the journal Optics Express, professor Chunlei Guo and his assistant Anatoliy Vorobyev demonstrate that by carving intricate patterns in silicon with extremely short, high-powered laser bursts; they can get liquid to climb to the top of a silicon chip like it was being sucked through a straw.

  • Energy 2010: Continued as an EPA’s WasteWise program partner in an effort to help reduce waste output. The program tracks waste and recycling statistics and offers comparisons to similar institutions.

  • Energy 2010: The National Science Foundation (NSF) has offered its most prestigious award for young scientists, the CAREER Award, to two University of Rochester researchers: Paul Ampadu and Justin Ramsey. The NSF CAREER award is given to promising scientists early in their careers and is selected on the basis of creative proposals that effectively integrate research and education. Ampadu is working to address the critical reliability problem of integrating deep nanometer CMOS and emerging nanoelectronics processors and memories on a chip. These dissimilar blocks communicate with one another over closely spaced, unreliable links, requiring effective error control to improve link reliability at reduced energy and performance costs. Justin Ramsey, assistant professor of biology, won his CAREER award for combining basic research of plant evolution with educational and community outreach efforts related to Rochester-area forest habitats.

  • Energy 2010: More than 100 University of Rochester students are traded sunscreen and sandals for hammers and shovels as they volunteer their time during the annual Alternative Spring Break. With support from the Rochester Center for Community Leadership and the undergraduate Community Service Network, five groups of students undertook community service projects in Massachusetts, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina.

  • Energy 2010: The grassroots sponsored "UR Unplugged", is a four-week energy saving competition between dormitories where dorms compete against each other to see who can conserve the most energy compared to the previous year.

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  • Energy 2010: A new program to advance the development of practical solar energy technology worldwide has begun at the University with a $3.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation. Program director Philippe Fauchet, chairman of Computer and Electrical Engineering in the Hajim School, says the program is also developing innovative and highly interdisciplinary approaches to training the next generation of experts and entrepreneurs in renewable energy.

  • Energy 2010: Mechanical Engineering Professor Riccardo Betti, one of the world's leading experts on nuclear fusion and a frequent advisor to the federal government on the future of fusion, won the Edward Teller Medal for his research into laser-driven fusion. Betti is the vice chair of the U.S. Department of Energy's Fusion Energy Science Advisory Committee, chair of the DOE's High Energy-Density Laboratory Plasmas panel, and a member of the Board of Physics and Astronomy of the National Academies of Science.

  • Energy 2010: Developing alternative energy technologies that can make the United States and other industrialized nations more energy efficient and less reliant on a limited supply of fossil fuels has become a major focus of the high-tech industry. But for the developing world, simply having access to any energy at all is a major challenge. Each year, engineering students at the Hajim School travel to Africa and elsewhere around the globe looking for ways to bring energy to regions that don't have reliable power. Most of the projects are administered by AHEAD Energy, a nonprofit organization started by chemical engineering lecturer Ben Ebenhack and his wife Mary Jeanette.

    Rainwater harvesting in Kenya sponsored by AHEAD.
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  • Energy 2009: A student led imitative to convert waste vegetable oil at the University of Rochester into biodiesel to run a campus bus was launched. The biodiesel processing station was built; bus was converted to biodiesel and now runs as a student campus shuttle.

  • Energy 2009: UR Unplugged, a four week energy saving competition between dorms on campus, resulted in a 6.5% decrease in energy consumption compared to 2008.

  • Energy 2009: 5,802,969 kW of wind power purchased for the year to offset energy used in dorms.

  • Sustainability

    Sustainability 2010: EcoReps program continues to be successful in educating freshman about sustainability; the program is in its third year.

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  • Sustainability 2010: UR Sustainable Facebook page was created to promote and raise awareness about sustainability and to highlight achievements. UR Sustainable has over 200 fans.

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  • Sustainability 2010: The 40th Earth Day celebration occurred on April 22nd. Grassroots coordinated Earth Week, complete with annual tree planting, tye dyeing, a clothing exchange, and live entertainment.

  • Sustainability 2010: The School of Medicine and Dentistry began using an environmentally friendly chemical-free floor stripping machine for resealing. Floors now only need to be resealed once every two to three years vs. quarterly.

  • Sustainability 2010: The University continued its support of the University's Home Ownership Incentive Program. Under the program, the University, the city of Rochester and one of two financial institutions—Advantage Federal Credit Union and Canandaigua National Bank & Trust—together contribute up to $9,000 toward the purchase of a primary residence in the neighborhoods closest to the University. In return, employees are required to agree to five-year occupancy and employment commitments and also participate in homeownership education and counseling through NeighborWorks Rochester.

  • Sustainability 2010: NeighborWorks Rochester recognized the University of Rochester with its Healthy Blocks Partner of the Year Award. NeighborWorks Rochester is a nonprofit housing agency that assists families and first-time buyers in the city with homeownership and helps to ensure their long-term success as homeowners. This award recognizes Rochester's many programs that create strong ties between undergraduates and community members.

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  • Sustainability 2010: A new interdisciplinary curriculum in environmental sustainability will help two independent schools in the U.S. and Africa to educate and lead communities toward a more sustainable energy future by teaching about the science, maintenance, and use of energy technologies. Fifth- and sixth-grade students from Greater Rochester and Uganda will soon engage in cross-cultural dialogues about how energy and other resources are used in their schools in an effort to solve larger sustainability and environmental issues. The Harley School, located in Brighton, N.Y., and Circle of Peace School, located in Makindye, Uganda, are both at the cutting edge of integrating education for sustainability into their classrooms and operating their facilities with renewable energy. Research on curriculum, learning, and assessment, conducted by faculty and students from the University of Rochester, will help middle school students at both schools to gain a better understanding of renewable energy and how to operate the systems installed at their schools.

  • Dining 2010: First LocaFest sponsored by the Center for Sustainable Living. University of Rochester students and the Rochester community came together to discover different ways to live sustainably and support local vendors.

  • Dining 2010: During remodeling of The Commons, the space was made more sustainable through the use of sustainable finishes.

  • Dining 2010: Dining Services implemented a Reusable Clamshell Program and a Mug Refill Program . Students are able to purchase a reusable clamshell container for food from any dining hall and can pick it up or drop it off to be washed at any time. Over 500 were sold on the River Campus. The Mug Refill Program offers reduced pricing for coffee and tea refills if you bring your own mug. 37,652 refills were sold in 2010.

  • Dining 2010: Continued to develop Team Green. Worked on program continuity by hiring new members at the beginning of the spring semester.

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  • Dining 2010: In April, the University of Rochester's Campus Dining Services hosted the Eat Local, Live Well trade show to promote sustainability and support the local economy. Dining increased the number of local food vendors to thirty-four.

  • Dining 2009: Dining Services composted between 5,000 and 10,000 lbs of pre-consumer organic waste per month with Freshwise Farms.


  • Dining 2009: Launched the Nike Reuse a Shoe program to collect used sneakers to be recycled into turf and tracks for athletic fields.

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  • Dining 2009: Held an electronics collection event for employees and students resulting in 13.04 tons of electronics being properly recycled and kept out of our landfill. Included 273 CRT monitors, 387 computers, and 99 printers.

    Computer Recycling
  • Awards 2010: The University of Rochester is awarded an Environmental Leadership Award by the Rochester Business Journal (RBJ) for its recycling programs. The RBJ recognized nine local businesses with leadership awards in four categories: long-term commitment, pollution prevention, recycle/reuse, and resource reduction.

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  • 2008: Participated in its second RecycleMania 2008, a nation-wide competition designed to entice college campuses to recycle more. Grassroots promoted the debut by sponsoring a raffle, passing out free stickers and testing diners' knowledge with a quiz on sustainability.

  • Sustainability 2008: Held the first E-Waste disposal service designed for students and staff to recycle their personal electronic waste. All electronics collected are dismantled and then recycled.

  • Sustainability 2008:As part of the University's "Clean & Go Green" campaign, Wallis Hall recycled non-confidential paper, cleaned out desk drawers, deleted old e-mails, and discarded out-dated equipment.

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  • Energy 2008: Purchased 11,600,000 kWh (kilowatt hours) of renewable energy credits (RECs) for the next two years. New York State wind farms will supply 5 percent of the RECs while the remaining 95 percent will come from the wind energy nationwide. Fully 100 percent of the electricity used in residential life buildings on the River Campus is offset with wind energy.

  • Energy 2008: Professor of Chemical Engineering David Wu received a $1.75 million grant to investigate a way to turn waste biomass, such as grass clippings, cornstalks, and wood chips, into usable hydrogen or ethanol. Wu is employing state-of-the-art genomic approaches to study and enhance the abilities of a microorganism to produce both fuels from farm and forest residues.

  • Energy 2008:Steven Chu was named Secretary of Energy. Chu earned his bachelor's degrees in mathematics and in physics from the University of Rochester in 1970, and his doctorate in physics from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1976. He received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997. In 1999, Chu became a trustee of the University of Rochester, and currently serves on the Committee on Academic Affairs and the Committee on Health Affairs.

  • Buildings / Landscaping 2008: Replaced incandescent bulbs in staff and faculty offices with Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLBs). CFLBs use 75% less energy, lasts up to 13x longer, and come in various wattages and configurations. Replacement of incandescent bulbs reduces energy cost by about $52 per bulb over the life of the bulb.

  • Dining 2008: Created the Food Dudes and the Green Team, to give students a new way to learn about dining services—through their peers. The Food Dudes are training to be experts in the dining industry: ask them questions, they’ve got answers. Green Team members focus on promoting sustainable initiatives and touting the University’s “green” efforts.

  • Sustainability 2008: Created the University Council on Sustainability, a multi-disciplinary, advisory board council of faculty, students, staff and University trustees. The Council is chaired by Provost Ralph Kuncl and Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations, Ron Paprocki. The council's work will span five years and will coordinate integrated advice on all matters related to environmental and energy sustainability, including research, curriculum, campus operations and community.

  • Recycling 2007: Recycled 746 tons of cardboard and office paper. The recycling of this quantity of packaging and raw materials avoided their manufacturing and disposal, thereby conserving 12,600 mature trees and and 3,100 cubic yards of landfill air space.


  • 2005: Grounds Department began collecting used ink jet and toner cartridges, using the rebates to buy trees for the Arboretum.

  • 2006: Recycled 4.8 tons of batteries.

  • 2006: Replaced disposable plastic sharps shelters in Strong Memorial Hospital with FDA approved reusable containers. Estimated to save 50,000 pounds of plastic from being landfilled annually.

  • 2006: Started a program to shred the hospital’s confidential documents and recycle the paper. Before this program, confidential documents were placed in the Medical Center autoclave along with the regulated medical waste to ensure they were destroyed. This autoclave waste is then sent to a landfill. During the last quarter of 2006, more than 44,000 pounds of confidential document waste were shredded and then recycled instead of being landfilled.

  • 2006: Began collecting electronic equipment for recycling and reuse. More than 100,000 pounds of used electronics per year were recycled. This has increased to 203,000 pounds in 2006.

  • 2004: Medical Center Housekeeping switched to green cleaning products; less toxic peroxide-based cleaners are being used in many areas.

  • 2000: Strong Memorial Hospital replaced most silver-based X-rays films with digital (around 95 percent by 2006), eliminating the 250-gallon photo chemical mixing tank.

  • 1995-1998: Eliminated the use of mercury at the hospital. We were one of the first hospitals in the country to do so and have repeatedly received national-level recognition for the program.

  • 1994: Established the Waste Minimization Committee and began tracking solid waste generation and recycling. The committee still meets on a quarterly basis and has been very successful in identifying ways to minimize waste.

  • Dining 2007: Partnered with Freshlink Farms in Penfield, N.Y., to obtain a large portion of our fresh herbs and greens.

  • 2007: The University's Pest Control Unit was one of five recipients of the 2007 Excellence in Integrated Pest Management Award from New York state. The University has reduced its use of liquid pesticides from 400 gallons a year in 1994 to the current annual usage of less than 10 gallons.

  • 2007: Participated in RecycleMania!, a competition between more than 200 colleges and universities to see which institution can collect the largest amount of recyclables per capita, the largest amount of total recyclables, the least amount of trash per capita, or have the highest recycling rate.

  • 2007: Became the first university in New York state to join the Pride of New York program to promote locally produced foods.

  • 2005: Switched to local bakery.

  • 2005: Introduced cage-free eggs campus wide in September.

  • 2005: Introduced reusable mug program.

  • 2005: Increased the varieties of fair trade coffee served at our coffee locations.

  • 2005: Worked with the student-led UR Fair Trade Campaign to increase student awareness about fair trade issues.

  • 2005: Developed a sustainability policy and hired a student sustainability coordinator.

  • 2006: Hillside Café switched all coffee to the Java City Eco-Grounds program. They serve only Fair Trade and Rainforest Alliance coffee.

  • 2006: Partnered with Women’s Coffee Connection to serve their coffee in Danforth Dining Center, Eastman Dining Center, and Southside Market. WCC is a local, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people recover from drug and alcohol abuse. They sell organic, fair trade coffee.

  • 2004: Switched to local co-op for all milk products.

  • Buildings/Landscaping 2007: University Health Service building designed to meet LEED standards.

  • 2007: The roadway de-icer used by the University becomes the only product of its kind to win th EPA's "Design for the Environment" designation. "Ice B'Gone" is a blended, biodegradable product that works much longer and in significantly lower temperatures than untreated salt, resulting in reduced salt use.

  • 2006: Implemented the NYS Apple program in all dining locations on campus.

  • 2006: Continued efforts to purchase locally produced foods, including partnerships with Balsam Bagels in Rochester, Lipman's Kosher Market in Brighton, and Perry’s Ice Cream in Akron.

  • 2006: Hosted the first “sustainability dinner” in the Meliora using all locally produced foods.

  • 2003: Laboratory for Laser Energetics addition preserved habitat of threatened frog species.

  • 1990-present: Integrated pest management practices for grounds keeping and landscaping.

  • Energy 2005: Central Utility Plant converts to more efficient “Cogeneration,” simultaneously producing the electricity and steam used to heat and cool River Campus and Medical Center buildings and using no more fuel than if only steam were produced.

  • 2005: Retro-commissioning program started. Four buildings were completed: Ambulatory Care Facility, Schlegel Hall, Gleason Hall, and Rush Rhees Library. Total utility costs avoided is $250,000 per year.

  • 2003: Gem Cars introduced for use by facilities staff in an effort to reduce gas-powered vehicles.

  • 1998: Converted from coal and #6 oil to natural gas and low-sulfur oil, which resulted in improved efficiency of Central Utilities Plant and a drop in our nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide emissions.

  • 1998: NOx emissions: 76.02 tons in 2006, compared to 335 tons in 1995

  • 1998: SO2 emissions: less than one ton in 2006, compared to 1,600 tons in 1995