In RIT Dining Services operations waste comes from product packaging, food preparation, uneaten scraps, napkins and increasingly, from disposable food ware. We are combating waste generation through a number of approaches.
Composted over 514,000 pounds of pre-consumer and post-consumer waste, and donated over 8,300 pounds of food as of June 2017
RIT Dining Services has donated over 70,400 pounds of food since 2012
In 2012, RIT Dining Services/Student Auxiliary Services partnered with our sustainability advisor to the University, Enid Cardinal, to partner with dedicated students whom had a passion for reducing food waste. As time progressed these conversations lead to the start of Recover Rochester in December 2012, which is 100% student volunteer operated. These extraordinary students helped us in establishing a process for foods that could not be repurposed, to be safely packaged and redistributed to community kitchens in the Rochester area. This in turn has led to approximately 70,489.13 pounds of food as of June 2017 served to the less fortunate but has also helped us in our efforts to reduce food waste by the trend data that they provide us monthly.
Last year, RIT Dining Services gave approximately 36 tons of pre-consumer organic material to a local farm for use as compost. This saved 36 tons of waste from entering a landfill.
Reduction of Polystyrene
Dining Services has minimized the use of polystyrene (Styrofoam) from our locations and have replaced it with recyclable containers made from polypropylene (number 5 plastic).
Reusable Mug Program
Guests receive $.10 off any hot or cold beverage purchased at any dining location when they bring their own reusable cup/mug.
Tray-less at Gracie's
Gracie’s, our largest resident dining hall, is a tray-less facility. This initiative is credited with approximately 30% food waste reduction. We also are consuming less water and chemicals due to trays being eliminated from the washing cycle. See related article: Without Cafeteria Trays, Colleges Find Savings