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

Sponsored Content
Roasted Beet Salad Pickled Blueberries
From Blueberry Council.

What’s trending in the culinary world? The basics! According to the NRA, diners today are craving authenticity, simplicity and freshness on menus. But basic ingredients don’t have to lead to boring menu options.

It’s easy to fall into the latest craze to capture consumer attention and drive sales. But we’ve learned it’s not always about novelty. Instilling a feeling of nostalgia and familiarity by using well-known and well-loved ingredients in new, experimental dishes can lead to an increase in adventurous dining decisions, while staying in your customers’...

Ideas and Innovation
leftovers containers

We use our Menu Forward idea to empower staff to develop menu items and keep leftovers in check. Product left at the end of service may be claimed by any station to become part of a new item within six weeks. I’m happy to see my star team fighting for their ideas and products; the benefit to food cost is spot-on, and my freezer has no mystery items lurking in the corner.

Ideas and Innovation
food allergy

When potential students come to campus, we match them with a student from our allergy support group for a tour of our dining facilities. The ambassador helps the potential student to understand how they navigated campus with their food allergy. This showcases what we do for allergies on campus, and is a highly successful way to make the students feel good about dining.

Menu Development
muse school produce

Kayla Webb, executive chef at Muse School, has transitioned the private K-12 day school in Calabasas, Calif., to an entirely vegan menu over a three-year period. Webb talks about her menuing, and how the school’s kitchen earned the title of “greenest restaurant in the world” from the Green Restaurant Association.

Q: How did you help parents get used to the idea of an all plant-based diet?

A: The first year, we didn’t announce it. We were just serving one plant-based meal a week, so it wasn’t that drastic. We do monthly Muse Talks where we invite different speakers to our school to...

FSD Resources