At Campus Dining, we're working hard to reduce the amount of waste associated with our operations, while finding sustainable solutions to managing and diverting the waste we do generate.
The most responsible thing we can do with waste is generate less of it. Here's how we're doing more by creating less.
Data is Power
We use LeanPath software to track food waste in our kitchens. Having real-time data on food waste helps us avoid over production, and gives us insight into ways we can improve our culinary practices to waste less.
Sometimes the best solutions are the simplest. By removing trays from the main dining center we saw a 60% reduction in post-consumer food waste.
We promote the use of reusable containers whenever possible. The Dollar Coffee Club program offers discounts to customers who use their own mugs and our To-Go program lets guests use reusable clamshell containers to bring food out of the Food Zoo Dining Center.
While striving to reduce the waste associated with our operations, we've undertaken a number of initiatives to responsibly manage the waste we do generate.
Campus Dining composts all the pre- and post-consumer waste from the Food Zoo, Food Court, UM Catering, as well as all the used coffee grounds from our coffee operations. The food waste is pulped, dehydrated and then hauled to the PEAS Farm where it is incorporated into their windrow compost piles. Finished compost from the PEAS farm is then used to fertilize our gardens.
Campus Dining is a proud partner in Missoula Food Bank’s Food Circle program. The Food Circle program allows us to donate our excess prepared food to the food bank, which repackages it into ready-to-eat, heat and serve meals.
Single-use packaging is kind of the worst, and we’re constantly working on ways we can reduce the use of it in our operations. At the same time, where disposable packaging can’t be avoided, we’re prioritizing compostable products. Compostable products have a smaller environmental impact compared to plastic disposables as they are made from 100 percent plant-based materials. They also break down much faster than petroleum-based products.