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Denise Polk (left) and Meghan FogartyJune 5, 2018 | Malcolm Johnstone

Denise Polk (left) and Meghan Fogarty receive the Community Greening award from the Pennsylvania Downtown Center.

West Chester PA — Denise Polk, a professor at West Chester University and a member of West Chester Borough Council, partnered with Meghan Fogarty, the Sustainability Coordinator for West Chester, to create a local program to make our community more sustainable. 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.

As a result, Denise and Meghan were recognized by the Pennsylvania Downtown Center for their efforts at Community Greening at their annual gala awards banquet on June 5 in West Chester.

While they created the model and led the program, there needed to be supporting partners.

“We needed the collaboration of all our participants – even the ones who said no – as well as the compost facility, Borough government (especially Public Works), the EPA, the BID, the University students and administration, and our residents who supported the program,” Denise said. “This was a collaboration in the best sense of the word.”

It is hoped that the model continues to grow outside of the community. “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,” concluded Denise.

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