One aspect of sustainability involves limiting waste and getting the most out of precious resources. This includes Dining Service’s commitment to reduce, re-use and recycle.
Dining Service has taken steps to limit waste in a number of ways:
- We use a menu management software program to track production and usage of menu items so that we prepare no more than we expect to use.
- If there is overproduction, students provide daily deliveries that supply the nearby MidCoast Hunger Prevention Program, a local food pantry and soup kitchen.
- Keeping the food quality high provides incentives to students to eat what they take.
- Communicating with students about food waste issues and offering tray-optional dining gives them options to change behavior.
- Pre- and post-consumer waste is deferred for garden compost and provided as feed for a local pig farm.
- The waste from two of our largest annual catering events, the opening lobster bake (1,500) and the commencement lunch (4,000), are completely composted at a Lisbon Maine farm
- The advent of single–stream recycling has made recycling of paper, paperboard, aluminum, glass, and plastic easier for staff.
- Dining Service provides cash discounts for use of reusable mugs and lunch bags.
- To reduce paper hot cup usage, the dining halls are instituting a reusable hot cup program which will provide students with a clean reusable cup whenever they need it!
- To reduce the purchase of bottled water for college meetings and events, Dining Service provides ceramic water containers for meeting set-ups.
- Bottled water as a beverage option has been removed from our bagged lunch area and replaced with a hydration station.
- Office space has been converted into dry goods storage so bulk purchases can be increased.
- A 3-cylinder mini truck was added to our catering fleet to provide a fuel efficient option for smaller deliveries.
- Lighting in dining spaces is monitored and turned off whenever possible.
- Bowdoin has instituted a Vendor Sustainability Survey that helps us learn more about our vendors' practices and encourage positive changes.