Campus / News / April 29, 2009

Going trayless reduces waste

As a result of senate’s decision to remove trays from the cafeteria this fall, there is an estimated 30 percent less food waste, 9,240 gallons of water saved a year, and $32,000, or two percent, of Dining Services’ budget, saved.

Some students and Helmut have applauded the move.

“I think it’s good. I didn’t use trays before, so I have no problems with them not using trays. Even if I did, a little inconvenience would be worth it,” said senior Esther Newman.

“I think it was a good thing to do and a smart thing to do,” said Helmut Mayer, Director of Dining Services.

There are concerns, however, over the amount of food and dishes left on the tables after students have finished eating and the amount of water used to clean the tables.

“I think the only negative is the tables are dirtier now, but it’s worked out really well,” said Mayer.

Senior Katie Fronczak, who works in the cafeteria, has experienced firsthand the mess that students leave behind.

“[The tables] are fifty times dirtier now and things stain. It makes it longer and more frustrating,” she said. “You would think that with the disestablishment of trays people would clean up their messes, but they think the table is their tray and I have to clean up their messes.” Fronczak said that at the end of the day she has to walk around with a tray collecting what’s left over on the tables.

“I think it’s a double-edged sword. It causes the full-time employees more hassle…but I think that its what the students prefer and what we’re trying to go for,” said Fronczak.

For now, the trays are being stored in the cafeteria basement, but Mayer said that if it looks like Dining Services will not be using them again they may be sold next winter term as souvenirs.

Klayr Valentine-Fossum


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