Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

When it comes to sustainability, At Campus Dining, we take a holistic approach to our food system from pre-consumer in our venues to post-consumer after you enjoy your meal. We are 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.

Preventing Waste

The most responsible thing we can do with waste is to 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 overproduction, and gives us insight into ways we can improve our culinary practices to waste less.
  • Trayless Dining: 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.
  • Reusables: We promote the use of reusable containers whenever possible.

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.

  • Composting: 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.
  • Donating: 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.
  • Compostable Packaging: 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.