Food preparation and consumption is a significant contributor to carbon emissions for each of us as individuals and the campus as a whole. We strive to decrease the impact of Dining Services on campus carbon emissions by offering more sustainable foods, engaging in composting and recycling efforts, and providing reuse/reduce incentives through our Trayless Tuesdays and reusable mug programs.
Our Dining Services provider, Chartwells, adheres to a sustainable seafood policy that follows Seafoodwatch.org recommendations. In addition, they use only trans-fat free soy oil, antibiotic-reduced pork and chicken, and cage-free shell eggs. They serve fair trade coffee in the Susquehanna Food Court and Cook Library, and purchase locally-grown foods to support area farms and reduce the energy consumption of foods served in campus dining facilities.
Composting and Recycling Efforts
In fall 2011 the university expanded its composting program—which originated in Newell Dining Hall in fall 2010—to the Glen Dining Hall, the University Union and the West Village Commons. The expanded collection system covers all major dining halls on campus and is projected to divert between 190 and 280 tons of organics from the landfill during this academic year. The program will reduce campus carbon emissions by 210 to 315 carbon dioxide equivalents a year and provide us with between five and seven tons of composted mulch for use around campus.
For the 2011-2012 Academic year, dining services diverted 174,320 pounds of food waste that would have been destined for the landfills! Aside from the monetary savings on tipping fees, the university will receive about 1.2 tons of very fertile top soil to use in landscaping projects
From clamshell containers to coffee cups, all food storage materials distributed in dining halls can be recycled in any of the university's single-stream recycling containers. The only exception to this is Frito-Lay chip bags and Chick-fil-A sandwich bags. In addition to supporting our single stream RecycALL system, Dining Services upholds specific recycling practices for fryer oil which resulted in approximately 6,300 gallons of used fryer oil being donated to Revolution Bio Fuels for the creation of biodiesel fuel.
Understanding that the greenest resource is the one you don't use, we attempt to promote reduce and reuse practices in campus dining halls through a variety of programs. Every Tuesday on campus is "Trayless Tuesday," wherein the all-you-can-eat dining facilities go trayless in an attempt to reduce food waste, decrease the energy and water used to clean trays, and promote healthy eating habits. In addition, all faculty, staff and students receive a discount on drinks purchased in reusable Go Green mugs distributed annually to all freshmen and available for purchase at Chartwells' on-campus cafes. The reusable mug discount promotes the use of reusable containers versus cups that can only be used once before being discarded.
Office of Sustainability
General Services Building, Room 132A (map)
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.