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Temple programs co-winners of environmental stewardship award

Items stored as part of the Surplus Property Program at Temple.

Temple's Give + Go Green and Surplus Property programs are co-winners of the Daniel G. Weisenbach Environmental Stewardship Award. The award is given by the Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania (PROP), an association of recycling professionals who work to ensure that all recyclable materials in the state’s waste stream are optimally recycled. The programs were recognized for their creative approach to potential waste streams that generated revenue, limited environmental impacts, and benefitted community members and organizations.
 
Temple’s Give + Go Green move-out program, which is co-sponsored by University Housing and Residential Life and the Office of Sustainability, encourages students to donate unwanted clothing, household items, and nonperishable, unopened food in the lobby of their residence halls. Faculty, staff and students from across Temple volunteer to sort the material. Collected food is donated to the student food pantry on campus, which serves students who are food insecure. Clothing and household items are tagged and organized by size and style for redistribution through Temple Thrift, pop-up thrift sales held on campus during the fall semester.
 
Last year, Temple was able to divert over 10,000 pounds of material through the Give + Go Green program (1,500 pounds were donated food, with the remainder comprised of clothing and household items). This provided enough inventory for three large Temple Thrift sales, which generated $4,600 in revenue for the Cherry Pantry. The program also engaged over 125 volunteers and over 15 different departments from the university. This fall’s Temple Thrifts are scheduled for Sept. 12Sept. 26 and Oct. 24. All donations will fund the Cherry Pantry, and the Temple community is encouraged to volunteer at the fundraising sales.
 
“It has been amazing to see this program continue to grow over the years and see the amount of items that get reused to help reduce Temple’s overall carbon and waste footprint,” said Kevin Williams, senior director of residential life and interim director of maintenance operations. “My team and I have enjoyed working with the many campus volunteers that come together every year to make this program happen, which is only a success due to their efforts.”
 
The Surplus Property Program builds off of the expertise of Temple’s Computer Recycling Center (CRC), which handles the reuse and resale of electronics. Operating since 2016, Temple’s surplus program aims to give new life to retired university assets through redistribution, auction or donation.
 
While this is the first award given to the Surplus Property Program, the Computer Recycling Center has won multiple awards, including Computerworld’s Honors Laureate, University Business magazine’s Models of Efficiency and the federal Environmental Protection Agency's Environmental Achievement Award.
 
“We are extremely excited about winning the award and look forward to continue the success of the program at Temple,” said John Johnson, assistant vice president of Service Operations. “Since the Surplus Program is only a few years old, this is a great start to the program, but we feel there is a lot more to grow and we’re excited to continue with this sustainability initiative.”
 
The award was presented to Temple at the 2018 Annual Recycling & Organics Conference, held in Harrisburg.

Date of Publication: 
Fri, 08/10/2018
Publication: 
Temple Now
Author: 
Ben Palestino