Community discussion to present waste stream plan, answer community questions

April 03, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State Waste Stream Task Force invites members of the Penn State community to a community discussion on Tuesday, April 16, at which the task force will present a draft of its waste stream report — which will offer an overview of new programming/efforts around recycling and waste management throughout the University — and answer questions from the community.

The community discussion will take place at 3 p.m. in 233 HUB-Robeson Center, University Park. It is open to the public and also will be live streamed via Zoom for community members at all campuses.

A website with a draft of the report is now available, and interested individuals also can go to the site and submit questions or feedback.

The discussion will cover all of the task force's subcommittee topics, which include housing; hotel/dining/sports venues; specialty waste; Commonwealth Campuses; education and awareness; procurement; and recycling.

According to Tom Richard, director of the Institutes of Energy and the Environment and a co-chair of the task force, Penn State’s recycling, composting and overall waste management system has served as a national model of innovation for decades. However, recent changes in global and regional markets have created new challenges and opportunities. He said the task force has taken a holistic look at where Penn State is today and has mapped out a proactive plan for the future to continue to support ongoing sustainability initiatives as outlined in the Penn State Strategic Plan.

“We encourage all members of the University community to attend the discussion to explore the report’s recommendations and ask questions,” Richard said. “Having community participation in the process is critical to this plan’s success.”

The task force is comprised of members from across the University. Its purpose was to recommend ways to improve the University’s waste stream at each of Penn State’s 24 campuses. In order to create a plan that is fiscally, environmentally and socially responsible, the task force has been examining many of the contributing factors to the waste stream, including procurement, operations and disposal.

“With fluctuations in the world’s commodities markets and an ever-changing waste stream, Penn State wanted to ensure that its waste was being managed effectively and in a sustainable manner, both now and in the years to come," said Phillip Melnick, senior director of buildings and grounds in the Office of Physical Plant and a co-chair of the task force.

Last Updated April 17, 2019