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Penn State Raises $800K Selling Recyclables

penn state recycling collectionPenn State has raised more than $800,000 by selling recyclables collected on campus.

The recyclables are marketed as feedstock for industry or sold at venues, says Al Matyasovsky, the supervisor of Central Support Services in Penn State’s Office of Physical Plant (OPP). “We have gotten pretty resourceful at finding partners and markets for these collected, and rather diverse, materials,” he says.

Funds Used for Scholarships

The money raised has been used for scholarship and philanthropy, writes Penn State News. One of two scholarships is the Newspaper Readership Scholarship from recycled newspapers. The other is the Environmental Resource Management Scholarship from recycled scrap metal. Money is also raised for the Centre County United Way and the Four Diamonds Fund.

Penn State is holding a Zero Waste Conference from September 15-18; one of the topics to be discussed at the conference is monetizing waste.

Software Helps Make Money from Waste

One way organizations have found to monetize waste is to use the RecycleMatch Marketplace, a public platform where buyers and sellers of commercial waste and recyclables can transact quickly and easily. RecycleMatch software — which scored 4.5 stars in Environmental Leader’s Technology Reviews — is an enterprise software platform to help large organizations automate reporting and sustainability metrics, accelerate zero waste efforts, and make more from their recycling.

One of the judges in the Technology Reviews program called RecycleMatch’s online management tool “a great offering. It allows businesses who want to take control of their waste streams the ability to do so, allowing them to insure waste is going where it needs to go and maximize the price they receive for it.”For example, Shaw Industries achieved a 56% higher price-per-pound sales price using RecycleMatch vs. an offline process in comparable testing. Because Shaw sells an estimated $40 million a year in byproducts, the system contributed to a significant increase in revenue.Photo credit: Penn State

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