Penn State Raised More Than $800,000 Through Recycling

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The university’s recycling efforts have gone full circle –- the dedication of Penn State’s students, faculty, and staff will now benefit the same group, as well as those in need.

In total, Penn State has raised more than $800,000 for scholarship and philanthropy by marketing its waste.

“We market recyclables as feedstock for industry or sell them at venues,” said Al Matyasovsky, supervisor of Central Support Services in the Office of Physical Plant. “We have gotten pretty resourceful at finding partners and markets for these collected, and rather diverse, materials. Other universities look at Penn State for advice and direction.”

Recyclables and reusable waste fund two scholarships: the Newspaper Readership Scholarship from recycled newspapers and the Environmental Resource Management Scholarship from recycled scrap metals. Money is also raised for the Centre Country United Way, the Four Diamonds Fund, and Residence Life.

The breakdown, including where the money is donated:

  • Beaver Stadium recycling effort — $85,000 (supports United Way)
  • Bryce Jordan Center recycling effort — $21,000 (supports United Way)
  • State College Spikes recycling effort — $4,000 (supports United Way)
  • Trash to Treasure — $600,000 (supports United Way)
  • 100 Ton Glass Challenge — $500 (supports Residence Life)
  • THON recycling effort — $22,000 (supports Four Diamonds Fund)
  • Newspaper Readership Scholarship — $102,000 (supports General Scholarship Fund)
  • Environmental Resource Management Scholarship — $10,000 (supports ERM students)

Penn State’s practices for minimizing waste will be discussed at the Zero Waste Conference, scheduled Sept. 15 to 18 at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel. Speakers at the conference include Congressman Glenn Thompson, trustee Ryan McCombie, athletic director Dave Joyner, and President Rodney Erickson. For more information on the conference, click here.

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About Author

Jessica Tully

Jessica Tully is a first-year law student at Penn State's Dickinson School of Law. She graduated in May 2014 with degrees in journalism and political science.

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