Joanne Shafer

Here's Why Penn State's No Longer Recycling Styrofoam

Aug 18, 2016
person recycling styrofoam
Emily Reddy / WPSU

The nearly 5,000 recycling bins on Penn State’s University Park campus collect all kinds of materials: bottles, cans, paper, but no longer polystyrene, which is often referred to as Styrofoam. The school has recently decided not to recycle polystyrene for a slew of economic reasons, one being the fall of oil prices.

Lydia Vandenbergh is an associate director of employee engagement with the Sustainability Institute of Penn State. She says the decision to start recycling university dining containers and packaging around 2000 was appropriate then.

Arts Fest Goes Zero Waste

Jul 7, 2014
Brad Fey with Recycling bins
Kelly Tunney / WPSU

When Brad Fey volunteered on Arts Fest’s trash crew with his Rotary Club, he was dismayed by the 75 tons of garbage it produced each year.

As he filled dumpster after dumpster to the brim, Fey discovered most trash collected Arts Festival weekend could be recycled, or even composted, instead of simply deposited in a local landfill.

“Paper cups, napkins all that stuff turns into soil after you compost it,” Fey said. “Going by experience of collecting trash at arts fest, that’s a lot of what is in the trash.”