Al Matyasovsky, developing solutions to measure waste reduction
As a professional, Al Matyasovsky is at the top of his game, leading a team that created Penn State’s patented ReDi Index―a tool that is poised to become the global standard for measuring solid-waste efficiencies. And as an educator and member of the Penn State community, he’s putting his expertise to work by helping students green the University Park campus.
Al currently serves as the supervisor of Central Support Services in Penn State's Office of Physical Plant (OPP). In 2009 he was challenged to find a way to bring Penn State’s operations closer to zero waste. When Al tried to find a measurement tool that could provide a rating for the University’s current practices and future goals, he couldn’t find anything that met his needs. So he set out to establish his own system and, in the process, created a first-of-its-kind solution with utility far beyond Penn State.
Al worked closely with colleagues Lloyd Rhoades, manager of OPP Central Services, Buildings and Grounds Division, and Brendan Bagley, OPP information technology consultant, to develop the ReDi Index. He hopes their invention will encourage businesses and organizations to improve their sustainable waste-management practices, and their business efficiency, noting that the ReDi Index can tell a company how environmentally friendly their behaviors are, and how changing those behaviors can save both the company and environment even more “green.”
Al also works closely with a number of sustainability-focused student organizations, lending his expertise and passion to the work of Trash to Treasure, collecting and selling unwanted items from student residence halls to benefit the Centre County United Way; Students Taking Action to Encourage Recycling (STATERs), which also benefits the Centre County United Way; and Green It Together, a group of Penn State students piloting zero waste programs in residence halls on campus.
But Al’s character, even more than his professional achievements, is what makes him such an embodiment of Penn State’s values. One of the students Al has worked with puts it this way, “He’s hard working, modest and caring … Al Matyasovsky, to me, is Penn State.”