Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 66.74
Liaison David Cullmer
Submission Date Oct. 20, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Pennsylvania State University
IN-3: Innovation 3

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Mary Easterling
Assoc Director, Analysis & Assessment
Sustainability Institute
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Title or keywords related to the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Mobius - office composting program

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:

In 2013 Penn State rolled out a new waste management program called "Mobius". Its main feature is the addition of organic waste collection bins to all recycling stations on campus. To our knowledge Penn State is one of the first schools of its size to offer campus-wide composting. This program is expected to increase solid waste diversion by an additional 10%, to 75%. Employees will no longer have their trash cans emptied by custodial staff. Rather they are expected to sort their own waste at the mobius station. This is expected to raise awareness of the amount of waste produced, as well as reduce labor by custodial staff who instead will be managing material from the mobius stations. Compostable waste is transported to the Penn State Organic Materials Processing and Education Center, where it is ground, blended with organic matter from grounds maintenance and animal operations, composted, and either used by campus landscaping or sold to the public.

The program's unusual name refers to Penn State's desire to "close the loop" on waste and view it as a system that, like the Mobius loop, has no beginning or end.


A brief description of any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation (if not reported above):

This program is expected to solid waste diversion by an additional 10%.


A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise:
Which of the following STARS subcategories does the innovation most closely relate to? (Select all that apply up to a maximum of five):
Yes or No
Curriculum ---
Research ---
Campus Engagement Yes
Public Engagement ---
Air & Climate ---
Buildings ---
Dining Services ---
Energy ---
Grounds ---
Purchasing ---
Transportation ---
Waste Yes
Water ---
Coordination, Planning & Governance ---
Diversity & Affordability ---
Health, Wellbeing & Work ---
Investment ---

Other topic(s) that the innovation relates to that are not listed above:
---

The website URL where information about the innovation is available:

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