For those students who frequent Gordinier cafeteria, you have surely noticed the lack of trays in the lunch room for the past two weeks. While some may find this to be inconvenient, it has actually helped to reduce waste in the dining hall. In a dinnertime discussion I had with Associate Director Gerry Shehan (the guy who answers your suggestion box questions), the two of us talked about the effects of Gordinier’s tray removal. Initially, the reason for getting rid of the trays was
because students were stealing them to go sledding after one of our major snow falls (a brilliant idea by the students). In all honesty, paying five dollars for a saucer sled seems like a much better way to go sledding. But hey, that is just me.
However, maybe these genius students did us all a favor. Shehan told me, and I have also witnessed, that the tray removal has greatly reduced food waste. Students can no longer load up trays with a bunch of food, eat half, and then throw the rest away. Instead, people can only carry one plate and a drink to their table because they do not have trays. But aren’t the extra trips to get more food inconvenient and annoying? While the extra trips to get more food can be a little annoying, they seem to be a small trade for the reduced amount of food waste.
As I mentioned in my past article about food waste, the dish room saw plenty of whole salads and plates full of food tossed away. Students loaded up their trays with several plates of food, thus saving them from those pesky trips to get more. But now students have to walk back up to get more food, so they decide to say “forget it.” Besides reducing food waste, the dish room also uses less water to do dishes because we don’t have to wash trays anymore.
There have been rumors of Gordinier getting rid of trays permanently. I think that this is a great idea that, in the long run, will help to reduce the cost of running the cafeteria. While I wish it would not have taken the removal of trays to help people reduce food waste, it appears that something drastic had to be done.
For those who are still angry about losing trays, find anyone you know who stole one and give them a big thank you.