Penn State Zero Waste Conference to Focus on the Value of Recycling

(Provided photo)

(Provided photo)

UNIVERSITY PARK – Not only is recycling healthy for the environment, it’s good for the bottom line.

At Penn State, more than $800,000 has been raised for scholarship and philanthropy by selling recyclables collected on campus, according to Al Matyasovsky, the supervisor of Central Support Services in Penn State’s Office of Physical Plant (OPP).

“We market recyclables as feedstock for industry or sell them at venues,” Matyasovsky said. “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 specifically fund two scholarships – the Newspaper Readership Scholarship from recycled newspapers and the Environmental Resource Management Scholarship from recycled scrap metal. Money is also raised for the Centre County United Way and the Four Diamonds Fund.

Best practices for monetizing waste is one of many topics of discussion at the Zero Waste Conference, slated for Sept. 15 -18 at The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel on the University Park campus.

he conference will provide a behind-the-scenes look at Penn State’s waste management programs and an opportunity to hear from more than 50 experts in the waste management industry from Penn State and its collaborators.

Speakers include Congressman Glenn Thompson, Penn State trustee Ryan McCombie and Penn State President Rodney Erickson. On the second day of the conference, Penn State Athletic Director David Joyner will discuss the value of recycling at athletic events and how that waste is used to help charity.

For more information on the Zero Waste Conference, check out

Penn State Conferences plans and manages hundreds of programs each year which represent the diversity and strength of Penn State’s academic colleges and provide opportunities for individuals to learn about the latest scholarship, research and developments in their fields or participate in enriching learning experiences. Penn State Conferences is part of Penn State Outreach, which serves more than 5 million people each year, in all 67 Pennsylvania counties, all 50 states and more than 100 countries worldwide.

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