You’ve probably heard all the recycling facts like recycling 1 aluminum can save enough energy to run your TV for 3 hours or if we recycle all our newspapers, we’d save 250,000,000 trees. What does that mean to you? Probably not a lot.
For most people, recycling is something that happens when it’s convenient; maybe if you’re walking by a recycling container. What I’d like to do is to share what happens to your refuse when it lands in the trash containers instead of the appropriate recycling container.
What happens when you throw away trash at University Park?
- First, trash is transferred from campus buildings to the dumpsters outside.
- Next, large trucks owned and operated by the University collect the trash and take it to the Centre County Transfer Center just past the Nittany Mall. Penn State pays the Center $70 per ton to take the trash.
- Next the trash is trucked over 102 miles to a landfill in Central City located in Somerset County at 3.5 miles/gallon of gas.
- At the landfill, the trash is dumped into an immense depression that is sealed at the bottom.
What happens to the recycling at University Park?
For recycling, University Park works with the Centre County Solid Waste Authority (CCSWA). It has the most comprehensive program within a 100-mile radius, especially for paper, which is the largest percentage of University Park’s waste stream.
- Currently, University Park pays either $20 or $5 per ton to have the CCSWA process our recyclables, depending on whether the recyclables are delivered in bags ($20) or loose ($5), and we pay $70 per ton to dispose of waste (non-recyclables).
- 460 pounds of waste were generated by each faculty, staff and student at the University Park campus in 2009. This amount is equal to the weight of 92 Macbook computers or 75 Dell laptops.
- Students at University Park generate more than 3,200 pounds of newspaper waste (The Daily Collegian, New York Times, USA Today and Centre Daily Times) daily.
So, next time you have a choice to hang on to that plastic bottle to recycle later or put that newspaper in your back pack to put in recycling container in your building, hopefully you’ll remember there is a big cost savings (and environmental savings!) to you by simply putting your trash in the right containers!
Go visit www.green.psu.edu for more information!!