University Dining Services


University Dining Services works to reduce, reuse and recycle waste in dining locations on campus. We’ve implemented programs like composting and fryer oil recycling to reduce our environmental footprint.


UDS works to limit waste and encourages recycling in dining locations. We purchase only paper products with 100% recycled content and actively recycle paper, cardboard, glass, aluminum and plastic bottles in office and dining locations.


Terracycling recycles packaging that does not break down naturally and converts it into eco-friendly products like recycling bins, household products, lunch boxes, garden products and gifts. Terracycling collection bins are stationed around campus to collect wrappers from cookies, chips and granola bars. Terracycle will donate $.02 per wrapper to Urban Ventures, a South Minneapolis non-profit organization on behalf of University Dining Services. Since 2010, Terracycle has donated $545 to Urban Ventures.

Fryer Oil Recycling

UDS has partnered with Sanimax to recycle all used fryer oil from dining locations. Sanimax reuses oil to create products like high quality animal feed, lubricants and clean burning biodiesel. An average of 3,472 pounds of fryer oil is recycled from UDS locations every year.

Organic Composting

UDS has converted 40% of all packaging to biodegradable products including napkins, silverware, plates, cups and grab & go containers. Biodegradable packaging takes approximately 45 days to break down in compost piles and limits the amount of waste sent to trash incinerators.

Reusable Mug Program & Reusable to Go Containers

To reduce waste, UDS offers reusable mugs and to-go containers at retail locations on campus. Coffee cafes sell reusable cups and mugs as well as offer a $0.10 discount in lieu of a paper cup. Over 6,000 customers use reusable mugs annually. Additionally, Bistro West Restaurant, Outside In Restaurant and Conference Café offer reusable to-go containers to provide an alternative solution to traditional disposable containers.


UDS Green Fact

35% of packaging used in UDS locations is compostable, breaking down in compost piles in approximately 45 days.