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WE ARE Recycling!

While Penn State tuition and fees may rise every year, there is one way the university is saving us some money: recycling. Hundreds of thousands of dollars (last year it was close to half a million) are saved every year through the University’s recycling efforts. Penn State recycles more than half of all its trash and has even won awards for its program.

The simple act of recycling is cost effective, as it costs a mere $3.80 per student as opposed to the cost of trash disposal, which is $17 per student. At the recycling center, mulch is made from old furniture, building materials, and fallen branches, which saves the university $70,000 a year. The compost area-one of the first of its kind in the country- saves us money by providing the university with soil, something it used to purchase. This also saves us awful smells; in the past, the university used manure for planting.

In addition to cutting costs, recycling helps the community. After recyclables are collected, Joe Krentzman and Son, Inc., sells them and donates the money to the local United Way. Since this program started it has raised almost $500,000.

Campus recycling services chairman Al Matyasovsky is seeking to decrease post-consumer waste (A.K.A. that food you take and don’t eat) and making it easier for students to recycle by increasing the number of bins located in various parts of campus. In addition to these points, there are some other improvements the University could make to make both our earth and wallets happier. Most people require at least two of those dinky little glasses for their beverage needs in the dining halls;  if we got bigger ones, that would mean fewer glasses to wash and less water used.

Although it might be inconvenient for students, eliminating trays would also save water. Not being able to carry so much might also help decrease post-consumer waste. And we can’t ignore the little things each of us can do on our own to save energy: shutting off our computers when we’re not using them, unplugging chargers that aren’t being used, shutting off lights when they aren’t needed, and more. Anyone else have some ideas?

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About the Author

Caitlin Silver

Caitlin is from a small Pennsylvania town called Unionville, which is by West Chester, which is by Philadelphia. She is a sophomore in the Smeal College of Business and will probably major in accounting. Caitlin loves "How I Met Your Mother" and dougnuts.

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