Back on the 'menu'?

Company starts polystyrene recycling program at Penn State.

For those of you who, like me, believed that polystyrene recycling was virtually dead in non-commercial foodservice, apparently it still has a pulse. I received a press release late Wednesday afternoon from Dart Container Corp. announcing that the campus dining program at Penn State University is working with Dart to recycle polystyrene.

The effort, the newest part of Penn State’s sustainability initiative, will take place in the university’s dining commons as well as several retail outlets. Bins into which students and other customers can dump their polystyrene will be installed in foodservice facilities, The polystyrene will be collected and sent to the university’s Office of Physical Plant, which has a recycling center. OPP employees will condense the polystyrene, which will then be picked up at Dart and taken to its headquarters, in nearby Lancaster, Pa., to be melted down and made into other useful articles.

I’ve not yet had a chance to talk with Penn State officials about this, so I’ll have more in the days to come. Back in the late 1980s, polystyrene recycling was hailed as the next “big thing” in the environmental movement. The petroleum-based material was going to collected in great quantities and remade into thousands of useful articles such as park benches.

The reality, as it turned out, was that it apparently cost more to collect and process the polystyrene than was profitable. So the initiative slowly seemed to die away. I know in New York City, where dozens of items are listed as “must recycles,” polystyrene is no longer in favor. Does this move by Penn State signal a swinging of the pendulum back in a positive direction? We’ll see.

Keywords: 
sustainability

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
oversized portions

Here are the trends FSD's Chefs’ Council members wish would go away.

Kale Gluten-free Sriracha Chipotle Microgreens on everything Sous vide cooking Aversion to bread Healthy desserts Vegan diets Lies about local sourcing/organic food Fast food Cupcakes Pumpkin spice Fat-free or low-fat Meatless Mondays Bread cones Rigid child nutrition guidelines Bacon on everything Cajun Doughnuts with over-the-top toppings Oversized portions Fried foods Pinterest
Ideas and Innovation
Frose

Frose, sushi burgers and single-item restaurants are hot topics as of late, according to Forbes, which recently released a list of seven buzzwords in the foodservice world. Here’s what’s trending, in no particular order.

Blended burgers Frozecco and frose Goth food Hemp Single-item restaurants Sushi burger Upcycling
Industry News & Opinion
MeuDirections

One of my favorite cartoons shows a commander whose soldiers are in the midst of fighting a war with bows and arrows. Without turning around, he tells a man who has come up behind him, “I’m sorry, I’m too busy to talk to you.” The man was a rifle salesman.

In today’s time-pressed world, we are all too busy. So, it can be difficult to find time to reach out to others for ideas, solutions and best practices. But as that cartoon illustrates, it’s critical to being successful. The sharing of knowledge is a pillar of FoodService Director . Through our magazine and events, we have been...

Ideas and Innovation
chefs

We started inviting chefs and FSDs from other districts to come prepare lunch. Through featuring different chefs and chef-inspired meals, I’ve found the students have been looking forward to coming into the cafeteria. They are willing to try new things with crazy names, and to ask for their favorite outside items turned healthy.

FSD Resources