Penn State’s Recycling Efforts Recognized As ‘Best Of The Best’

The National Recycling Coalition (NRC) honored Penn State with its 2014 Outstanding Higher Education Award.

Penn State was selected as “the best of the best” over 70 other universities also under consideration for its exceptional program in recycling and for connecting higher education and industry. Alex Novak accepted the award at the NRC National Conference last week in New Orleans.

“Before 1990, the university recycled less than a ton of its waste,” said Novak, the Manager of Marketing and Communications for the Sustainability Institute, in a statement. “Today, the university recycles more than 100 types of waste and diverts almost 10,000 tons from the landfill—65 percent of its solid waste. The University-wide commitment and branding campaign (…) is a collaboration between the College of Agricultural Sciences, Housing and Food Services, Hospitality Services and the Office of Physical Plant.”

Recycling efforts are continuously being updated and modified to maximize the amount of recycling on campus, with the university’s composting efforts expected to increase the amount of solid waste diverted from landfills to 75 percent in the coming years.

Penn State is continuously looking for new ways to recycle. The rows of blue recycling bins around campus, formally called möbius stations, now include a new bin for recycling miscellaneous plastics including yogurt containers, Styrofoam, plastic containers, and utensils.

“The project has parallel goals of responding to the needs of handling organic residuals generated from within the University and enhancing teaching, research and extension/outreach programs of a land-grant university,” Novak said.

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