Many colleges and universities have indicated a move toward “zero waste” in the past years, some with full-on “Zero Waste Plans” promoted to highlight their efforts. That said, despite the best-laid plans, sometimes these efforts can get sidelined due to external circumstances, campus politics, and/or just the enormity of the issue. It can be difficult to know where to start and how to generate the most impact efficiently - the “bang for your buck”, if you will. Green energy programs, LEED buildings and carbon neutrality programs are great, but are often long-term plays where strategic planning and tactical implementation can take years to fully manifest.
If colleges and universities want to build quick momentum with high impact - often at a cost savings - they often have to look no further than their dining services practices where they can shift from single-use disposables to more sustainable reusable products.
The replacement of disposables with reusables can usually be easily integrated into a school’s zero waste efforts with minimal disruption. On-campus dining services are often well acquainted with implementing solutions targeting various types of waste, whether that is in the kitchen or at the trash barrel. Program