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. Essentials Market, Outside In Restaurant, Carlson Dining, Terrace Cafe and Residence Halls are collecting non-recyclable wrappers from Nabisco and Frito Lay chip bags for the program. Terracycle will donate $.02 per wrapper to Urban Ventures, a South Minneapolis non-profit organization on behalf of University Dining Services.
University Dining Services does not cook with trans-fat oils and works to avoid menus which include trans-fats when possible. Additionally, used fryer oil is recycled from dining locations. Recycling fryer oil is the most environmentally responsible option, as it increases air quality and reduces green house gas emissions.
UDS composts leftover food and kitchen scraps in 14 dining locations on campus. On average, UDS collects 30 tons of compost each month.
UDS has converted 35% of packaging to biodegradable products. Biodegradable packaging takes approximately 45 days to break down in compost piles and limits the amount of waste sent to trash incinerators.
University Dining Services offers a reusable cup program in campus coffee cafes. Customers who bring in a reusable to-go mug receive a $.10 discount in lieu of a paper cup.
In spring 2010, University Dining Services introduced a reusable to-go container program at three retail venues on campus: Bistro West Restaurant in Humphrey Center, Outside In Restaurant in Phillips Wangensteen Building, and Conference Cafe in the Continuing Education & Conference Center. Reusable to-go containers provide an alternative solution to the traditional disposable to-go container. By focusing on reuse and waste minimization, the waste stream is positively reduced by "reusing" a to-go container many times prior to recycling.