Study: Trayless dining reduces food waste by 15 million pounds

Aramark study showed trayless reduces about two ounces of waste per person, per meal.

April 23—According to a national survey conducted by Aramark Higher Education, trayless dining in Aramark cafes is having a significant impact in reducing food waste on the company's campuses.

According to the study going trayless in dining halls reduces waste by approximately two ounces per person, per meal. As of spring 2012, more than 300 colleges and universities served by Aramark have removed trays from their dining halls, diverting more than 15 million pounds of food waste from landfills this year, while reducing trash hauling needs, decreasing water and chemical use and reducing electricity consumption.

"Trayless dining is just one high-impact example of how engaging an entire community can yield significant results for the environment," Christopher Stemen, associate vice president of sustainability for Aramark Higher Education, said in a press release. "Our goal is to involve the campus community in sustainable practices that they can incorporate into their daily lives. By making every day Earth Day, we can positively impact our campuses, local communities and planet all at the same time."

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
delivery

We offer a food delivery service to students who are too sick to eat at the dining halls. Oftentimes when we’re sick, we want simple, bland food that’s easy to digest. We also include a bottle of water since staying hydrated is super important. Students who have used the sick meal program are very grateful that we offer this service because they don’t have to stress over how they’re going to eat when they’re too sick to come into the dining halls. The program is also important in preventing the spread of illness.

Ideas and Innovation
smoothie

Nurses often mention that at 2 p.m. they are dragging and just trying to get through their 12-hour shift. This winter I will be implementing a 2 p.m. pick-me-up, which will include a smoothie station where they can create their own smoothie to help get them through their shift. It will be filled with energy-boosting ingredients to personalize their own drink, such as bananas, almonds, spinach and even dark chocolate.

Ideas and Innovation
chili

Winter is when our guests frequently crave something comforting and hearty, and chili is great for that. Our plan is to boost guest engagement this winter by inviting them to design a unique chili experience. The guest chooses the type of chili first, then the vessel: bowl, bread or potato. Next, they customize their dish even further by choosing the toppings, which will be categorized as traditional, creamy, crunch or heat. The wild card, crunch and heat categories, are where my team and I will flex our creativity and highlight different flavors, ingredients or techniques.

Ideas and Innovation
new year party

In search of inspiration for this letter, I turned to the one I wrote for January 2017, in which I griped about some trends I wanted to toss in the new year. Twelve months later, the Sriracha trend has calmed down, food trucks seem slightly less pervasive and, while the definition of “clean” eating continues to evolve, it’s not so laser-focused on GMOs. So it seems my predictions were correct, including the one about where I’d be eating on New Year’s Day (though I had no clue my now-fiance would propose to me that night over duck noodle soup).

However, since this year has been...

FSD Resources