WCU receives recycling grant
In recognition of America Recycles Day, the U.S Environmental Protection Agency announced a $12,060 grant to West Chester University to support a food composting project that will help the university and West Chester Borough keep food scraps away from a landfill.
“West Chester University has already demonstrated itself as a leader in sustainability efforts, and this funding will help the university further expand its food recovery and composting efforts,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “By diverting food scraps away from a landfill for composting, the university and West Chester Borough are making a valuable commitment to maintain a sustainable environment.”
With this funding, the university and borough will partner with 10 local businesses including restaurants, two senior living facilities, the Chester County Hospital and the food service operations at the university dining hall to set up a 12-month pilot composting project.
EPA and organizations nationwide celebrated America Recycles Day on Tuesday by making a concentrated effort to raise awareness about the impact organizations and individuals can have on the environment at home, school and work.
Non-food recycling rates have climbed dramatically in the U.S in recent years for many products, but we still recover only about 5 percent of the excess or wasted food. In 2014, that amounted to 37 million tons of wasted food – making food the largest waste category going into municipal landfills across the nation.
The university’s composting project was initiated with a 2014 EPA grant that was used to partner with the borough to collect food scraps from two local restaurants for composting. The grant announced today will expand on that project.
West Chester University President Chistopher M. Fiorentino (left) and EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin (right) pose with Megan Fogarty, the Sustainability Coordinator for West Chester, and Denise M. Polk, professor and interim graduate coordinator. EPA presented Fogarty and Polk with plaques recognizing their efforts in reducing food waste throughout West Chester Borough.