In May 2010, Temple University adopted its Climate Action Plan, which addresses the role of recycling and waste minimization as part of its comprehensive efforts to reduce the university's carbon footprint. The plan established a goal of increasing the recycling rate to 40% and reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions derived from land-filled solid waste by 10% (1,368 MTCO2E) by 2015 relative to its 2006 baseline levels.
Since 2006, Temple has increased it recycling (diversion) rate to 42% and reduced greenhouse gases from solid waste by 7,942 MTCO2E. Additional recycling and waste minimization recommendations identified by the Climate Action Plan include:
- Increase outdoor recycling opportunities to ensure that every trash can is accompanied by a recycling can
- Explore composting of food waste
- Review opportunities in the food service areas to replace disposable dinnerware and eating utensils in all dining halls
- Review business practices that contribute to excess waste
- Engage students in residence halls to reduce waste
Pursuant to a recommendation of the Sustainability Advisory Group, a Recycling and Waste Minimization Committee was charged with developing a report that outlined ways to meet these goals. In 2011, Temple finalized its Recycling and Waste Minimization Report.