New green dining options
Students can now help Towson University reduce waste and make a positive impact on the environment by composting their excess food and purchasing reusable containers at dining locations on campus.
Dining Services is beta testing reusable plastic clamshell boxes and compostable packaging at certain dining locations, according to the Director of Operations for Dining Services John Brady. If all goes according to plan, he says these options will be expanded across campus in the fall semester.
Right now, green reusable containers are for sale at the Patuxent Bistro for $5 at the cash register next to Cilantro. Once students purchase their containers, they can be used at any station in Patuxent that does not charge by the ounce.
According to Brady, customers can either deposit their leftovers into green compost bins near the entrance or bring the containers with them. If students don’t want to carry the reusable container around campus with them, they can return the container to Dining Services in exchange for a card that can be traded in for a reusable container for use during their next visit.
To help offset the cost of purchasing a reusable container, Dining Services is also offering a discount card for use in select locations on campus, Brady said.
Compostable containers are also available in select dining locations for an additional 20 cents added to the price of your meal. These containers are not reusable and should be composted after use.
While Towson has been composting food waste behind the scenes in dining halls, Dining Services has expanded composting so students can participate directly, according to Brady. Composting sites for students can be found in Patuxent and Susquehanna. Food waste, along with paper napkins, corrugated cardboard and wax-coated cardboard can be composted, said Brady. Drinks and other liquids cannot be composted.
Dining Services is hoping to see a positive environmental impact from these efforts, according to Brady. “Less food waste in landfills equals reduced greenhouse gases in the atmosphere,” Brady said.
“I’ve never heard about that. It’s a cool idea though. I’ll have to pass the word on to my friends,” sophomore Emily Dufrane said.