The Vanderbilt Student Government and Vanderbilt Campus Dining have collaborated to bring a reusable container program to all residential dining halls on the Nashville campus. The program, launched with reusables platform Fill It Forward, went into effect on Aug. 9. The university piloted a similar program in 2019.
Each undergraduate student will receive one free container, and additional containers are available for purchase for $5.
To use the program, students must first register using the Fill It Forward app. To check out a container, students use the app to scan a QR code at the dining hall entrance and follow a similar process to return the containers, which are dropped into a Fill It Forward bin. The containers are then collected, cleaned and sanitized.
“Launching the Fill It Forward program is a big step forward in our drive to offer sustainable dining at Vanderbilt,” said Maria Portelli, senior director for campus dining, in a statement. “Based on surveys and feedback, our students have long advocated for environmentally-friendly packaging, and we know that Vanderbilt Student Government has expressed particular interest in a reusable to-go system. We’re proud to reduce our environmental footprint and look forward to more initiatives like this in the coming years.”
The reusables program is a part of a larger sustainability endeavor by Vanderbilt. In 2019, the university announced a goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. The university has also committed to achieving zero waste by 2030. The university’s sustainability initiatives include investing in on-site clean energy and offsite large-scale renewable energy, and reducing consumption and waste