Food Waste Reduction Strategies at UTM
We strive to continually decrease our output and be strategic in waste reduction in all areas. We work in tandem with our food service partner to implement the following strategies.
China Mug Initiative
In an effort to support other departments in affecting change we have offered to provide any department with as many china mugs as they need, so that every member of the team has one. By using reusable china mugs we are reducing the number of single-use coffee and tea cups and lids thrown into the garbage here at UTM.
Staff and faculty are able to bring their reusable china mugs when they purchase beverages at any food service locations (and get a discount) but also when they enjoy a beverage in their office, or at their desk.
While ultimately we do not have any control over where students, staff, and faculty put their waste, we do our very best to help educate consumers so they can correctly dispose of their waste.
In March 2019, we redesigned the waste room in Colman Commons in OPH to provide physical examples of what goes where in order to eliminate questions or any areas of confusion. We have taken actual items sold on campus, emptied them, cleaned them, and glued them to the walls above the place where they need to be thrown – Glass/Metal Recycling, Plastic Recycling, Garbage, Food Waste, Liquid Waste. We have also installed a sink for liquid waste and a strainer to catch the solids in order to ensure proper disposal.
Single-Use Water Bottle Policy
As of the fall of 2013, UTM banned the sale of single use plastic (SUP) water bottles. To ensure the community still has ample access to clean drinking water whenever they need it UTM added new water fountains and upgraded existing water fountains across campus. The design of the new water fountains is such that community members can easily fill their reusable bottles at the fountains without getting water everywhere or spilling their beverage.
To ensure that everyone on campus has access to reusable water bottles, the department of Hospitality & Retail Services has given out over 6,575 reusable water bottles to the community.
In order to decrease the amount of waste from single-use plates, cups and cutlery, we use china, reusable hard plastic cups, and metal silverware in Colman Commons in OPH. We also have buckets set up in the waste room for all like-style plates, bowls, cutlery, and cups for efficient dishwashing (fewer cycles = less water and soap).
No Plastic Straws
As of 2018, UTM non-branded food service locations banned the use of plastic single-use straws. They have been replaced with paper straws, which are recyclable.
UTM Indigenous Menu
Not only is UTM a place where people from many cultures, ethnicities, experiences, and nations come to learn, grow, and explore, it is also located on land that has millennia of its own stories. For thousands of years it has been the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit River. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land.
If you are interested in exploring our Indigenous menu, you can contact our Conferences & Events team to chat through your catering needs.
Fats, Oils, and Grease
The department of Hospitality & Ancillary Services is committed to decreasing our negative impact on the environment and continue to look for ways to sustainably dispose of, and reduce, our kitchen waste. Two initiatives we currently have in place are:
- We sell our used cooking oil to a company who recycles it for bio-diesel (bio-diesel is a clean-burning fuel)
- We have a monthly grease trap service/collection reducing the amount of FOG released into the municipal wastewater stream
Energy Efficient Equipment
Where possible we purchase energy star rated equipment for food services on campus. This method of selection considers both energy and water usage. The type of equipment we are able to select based on these considerations are refrigerators, cooking equipment, & dishwashers. You can learn more about energy star ratings here.
Additionally, in food service locations, we source LED lighting not simply for aesthetics, but also for energy efficiency within kitchens and dining spaces.
Our food service partner uses environmentally friendly cleaning products to avoid harmful chemicals in food service locations.
We have installed a dehydrator in Colman Commons and the Davis Building which has decreased our organic food output by an estimated 50%.
Conferences & Events
Our event coordinators work closely with clients to understand the nature of the event, the number of attendees and additional expectations around the event to ensure a responsible amount of food is ordered to avoid over-ordering and any additional food waste.
Questions? Contact us!
William G. Davis building, Suite 3127
Making experiences, exceptional