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Penn State Raises More Than $800,000 Through Recycling

by and on August 16, 2013 11:20 AM

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,” says 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 was to be discussed at the Zero Waste Conference, scheduled Sept. 15 to 18, but the conference has been cancelled due to low enrollment. Conference planners hope to put together a webinar some time in the future.

This post was originally published by the staff at Onward State. Follow Onward State on Twitter @OnwardState.

Jessica Tully recently graduated from Penn State with degrees in journalism and political science. She is a frequent contributor to and has also reported for USA TODAY, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Onward State and The Daily Collegian.
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