June 16, 2018

WCU & Boro Recognized for Joint Food Recovery Program

The Pennsylvania Downtown Center (PDC) has recognized the success of a food-recovery program that links the University with the Borough of West Chester. The project succeeded by diverting 360 tons of food scraps from the landfill to composting bins. In addition, viable leftover food was sent to people in need.Denise Polk and Meghan Fogarty

The initiative was the brainchild of WCU Professor and Chair of WCU’s Communications Studies department Denise Polk and Meghan Fogarty, sustainability coordinator for the borough. They partnered to create the model and lead the program that is intended to make the community more sustainable. “This was a collaboration in the best sense of the word,” said Polk She acknowledged the many supporting partners and participants that included “the compost facility, borough government (especially Public Works), the EPA, the BID, the University students and administration, and our residents who supported the program.”

The award was presented at Pennsylvania Downtown Center’s annual statewide conference, held in the borough June 3-6.

Polk hopes that the concept is adopted by other communities. “If it turns out that some other town in Pennsylvania — or anywhere else for that matter — uses our model to take on composting or another form of food recovery as a way to make their community more sustainable, then we truly are filled with gratitude to have made a difference.”