UH Dining starts new takeout plan
In an effort to increase sustainability on campus, UH Dining Services has switched to biodegradable and reusable to-go containers in all of UH’s dining areas, instead of the old Styrofoam containers.
“It’s an initiative as a company that UH is embracing in order to become more sustainable,” marketing program manager Sevelia Johnson said.
Johnson said though the containers were initially more expensive, the benefits are well worth the cost.
On average, University Dining Services had an estimated 90,000 Styrofoam containers that were used per semester. Last semester Moody Towers used five to six hundred Styrofoam containers a week and Oberholtzer Hall used about three to four hundred a week.
Initially, Foodservice Director Edward Wrigley spearheaded the program as the University’s “sustainability champion.” Dining Services prepared a proposal to University Services and was able to get the first 2,000 containers at no extra cost to the University.
University Services Marketing Manager Maria Honey said the best part about these new containers is that “they only require water, soap and sanitizer in order for them to have value all over again.”
The residents at the dorms were the first to receive these new containers. They were handed out on the first day and Johnson and Honey both agree that they have had an overwhelmingly positive response.
“The students are really taking ownership of the program, but the key to its continued success is going to be student responsibility,” Honey said.
There have been two options implemented for returning the containers after use. The students can return them to the dining halls or to one of the drop stations located around campus.
When finished with the containers, students can go to any of the six drop stations located at the convenient stores around campus and receive a voucher for a new, clean container. This voucher is proof that the student has done their part, since as of now there is no tracking system in place.
Communications junior Ryan Roussett has mixed feelings about the new containers. He admits that the change is a good initiative, but believes it is an inconvenience and that the containers are hard to keep up with.
Roussett lives at one of the campus apartments and said that if he were a resident at the dorms, it wouldn’t be such an inconvenience.
However, not everyone shares Roussett’s sentiment. Business freshman Carlos Falcon said he likes that UH is being less wasteful.
“When weighing the pros and the cons, it’s really not that big of an inconvenience, and the containers are easy to clean,” he said.