UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State’s Sustainability Institute has partnered with students from Helping Across the Community (HAC) to promote recycling in the downtown area of State College. The recycling event is part of the Penn State Council of LionHearts State Day of Service, which was created as an alternative to State Patty’s Day.
HAC, an on-campus community service organization and Special Living Option, is a member of the Council of LionHearts and recycling is something about which the group is very passionate. The students wanted to pursue an activity that was both feasible for the organization and would also make a large positive impact on the community.
With the assistance of the Sustainability Institute and the Office of Physical Plant (OPP), on Saturday, March 1, HAC will place recycling containers along College and Beaver Avenues to help divert recyclable items from the general waste stream. The Sustainability Institute and OPP are providing more than 40 recycling and composting bins, as well as bags and labels.
“As a club, we have found that recycling has been one of our biggest service opportunities through the year,” said Samantha Wright, a member of HAC. “This idea generated a lot of excitement and enthusiasm from our members. We were delighted to see the Sustainability Institute and OPP were very willing to help out with student projects. They were very helpful in making this project a reality.”
HAC hopes to make this program a permanent part of the State Day of Service. Based on their success this weekend, they will decide how to further expand their efforts in the future. The hope is the project will raise awareness in the community and draw attention to the possibility of having an even more eco-friendly downtown.
According to Al Matyasovsky, program manager for solid waste operations, the Sustainability Institute and OPP like to support the students at every opportunity. It is a chance to provide volunteer opportunities, and to teach the students about their operation, their programs and what it means to process materials.
“I’m very proud of the students and so appreciative of their involvement with this program,” said Matyasovsky. “We hope to continue supporting them in their endeavors for years to come.”
Wright and HAC are excited for the weekend and thankful for the support from Penn State Sustainability and OPP.
“We would like to thank everyone who has put their time and effort into making our project happen,” said Wright. “HAC is very glad that we have made a valuable ally in our project and we look forward to working with them more in the future.”