Posted May 10, 2011

Gown collection program debuts following school and college ceremonies

The school year is over, but Temple’s efforts to increase sustainability and cut back on waste are not ending.

Since January 2010, students have been able to purchase graduation gowns made from 100 percent recycled plastic. Now for the first time, graduates will have the chance to recycle their gowns after the big day is over.

After each college’s ceremony, sustainability ambassadors will be on hand to collect the gowns at locations around Main and Ambler campuses, including the Liacouras Center, the Student Pavilion, Temple Performing Arts Center, Mitten Hall, Alter Hall (following the reception for Fox School of Business and Management), the Engineering building lobby (following the reception for the College of Engineering), both university bookstores on campus and the Diamond Club and the Ambler Formal Gardens.

Collected gowns will be upcycled into new fabrics and other products.

Temple’s official gown is called the Greenweaver, and it is made from roughly 23 recycled plastic bottles. Since adopting this gown, Temple has saved more than 276,000 plastic bottles from entering the waste stream.

The graduation gown recycling project is a partnership between the Temple University Office of Sustainability, the Computer Recycling Center, the Temple Bookstore, a student group from Debbie Campbell’s “Sustainable Enterprise” class in the Fox School of Business and cap and gown provider Oak Hall.