Penn State New Kensington offered a guide to starting a composting program, sponsored by the campus Green Team and Penn State’s Sustainability Institute. The first Composting Conference features speakers from the institute and other Penn State campuses. Guest speakers include Jeremy Bean, education program associate, Penn State's Sustainability Institute; Ann Quinn, lecturer in biology, Penn State Erie: The Behrend Campus; and Kim Berry, chief operating officer, Penn State Berks. Presenters will share their experiences in starting and maintaining a composting program.
Campus Green Team offered guidelines for starting a composting program.
In addition, New Kensington undergraduates in the biology program shared the results of a research project on small scale composting. Prior to the conference, the student researchers presented their projects publicly at the campus’ 11th annual Research and Creative Expo on April 9.
The composting conference was a part of New Kensington’s ongoing sustainability initiatives under the guidance of the campus Green Team, a group of campus faculty, staff and students who are committed to reducing waste and exploring ways to use resources responsibly. Charged by Chancellor Kevin Snider to take specific actions to help the campus operate in a more efficient, innovative and healthy way, the team has paved the way for the campus to become more environmentally friendly during the past four years.
The initial phase targeted the campus and local community by installing water bottle refilling stations and implementing single stream recycling. The hydration stations have decreased the use of plastic bottles and alleviated the amount of trash that winds up in landfills. The outdoor single stream recycling bins allow end-users to discard plastics, paper and cans into one container. Recently, the team focused on individual efforts of students, faculty and staff by increasing recycling awareness in Café 780, promoting a Rideshare program to reduce emissions and encouraging event organizers to utilize the campus’ online calendar in lieu of posters and handbills.
The Green Team program operates under the Green Paws program, part of Penn State's Sustainability Institute. For more information on the composting conference contact Ruth Herstek. To learn more about Green Teams and sustainability at Penn State, visit sustainability.psu.edu.