Penn Stater turns old headboards into recycling stations

University Park, Pa. — During renovations of The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel, General Manager Judy Karaky had a unique and inventive idea: to transform used guest room headboards into recycling stations for the common areas.
 
“Last year we ended up having these old headboards,” Karaky said. “We really didn’t have any use for them and no one wanted them.”
 
After brainstorming different options, she decided that turning them into recycling bins had great potential. She then went to the Office of Physical Plant where Supervisor of Central Support Services Al Matyasovsky helped put the plan into action. The headboards were sent to a wood shop where they were converted into stylish recycling stations that enhance the hotel’s lobby and hallways.
 
“I thought it was a fantastic idea. I was excited about the possibility of making a quality recycling bin out of reused material that actually came from our facility,” Matyasovsky said.
 
Nine bins in total were made and re-stained in cherry wood. Matyasovsky added that Physical Plant constantly looks for ways to reuse materials rather than buying new ones.
 
“They’re actually really beautiful,” Karaky said. “They’re one of the nicest pieces of furniture in the common areas.”
 
To let visitors appreciate the origin of the bins, plaques are mounted nearby that explain how the bins were made. According to Matyasovsky, “It was a nice story to tell about how we reuse things at Penn State.”
 
Other environmentally friendly programs that The Penn Stater is a part of include the University’s composting program and the use of corn-based and bamboo-made disposable products. The programs are a part of Penn State’s Finance and Business Environmental Stewardship Key Initiative.
 

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Last Updated November 18, 2010