Many College Cafeterias Go Trayless to Avoid Waste

At some colleges, no longer are students able to pile their trays with french fries, brick-oven pizza and brownies. Instead, they have to dish up their cafeteria favorites on to a single plate.

The change makes sense. Trays are large and leave too much room for students to pile on several plates of food as they walk through the buffet lines. And when it’s time to dump the tray’s contents, more than half of the food is wasted into the trash can.

After Virginia Tech went trayless, food service workers at the school noticed an immediate change.

“The plates were coming back basically cleaned,” said Ted J. Faulkner, Virginia Tech’s senior associate director of housing and dining services. “It was astounding.”

In addition to Virginia Tech, other colleges in the area like Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, Shenandoah University and the University of Virginia have also done away with the tray.

A study by the food service provider Aramark found that as much as 30 percent less food is wasted when a school goes trayless.

Saying goodbye to the tray is also a way of going green. Less soap, water and electricity are used when there are no trays to clean.

It would seem that going trayless would be the perfect solution towards preventing cafeteria waste. However, some students across the country don’t see the change as a good thing.

Not only do trays double as a sled for snow days, students are missing out on one of their most prized collegiate souvenirs. Not to mention, students are no longer able to gather several plates in one trip.

“When I go to D2, my goal is to eat as much as possible,” said Alex Shamy, a junior at Virginia Tech and a tray enthusiast. Without a tray, “you can only get one plate and a cup.”

I personally think dropping the tray is a good idea, and cafeteria waste can really eat up a school’s budget. Changes like this could help make meal plans more affordable.

Has your school gone trayless? Comment below, and let us know how you feel about the change.

Via The Washington Post








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