Going Trayless Saves PSU $160,000 and 35 Tons of Food

February 9th, 2009 by Adam

Who says helping the environment is expensive? It’s been one year since PSU, along with its dining contractor Sodexo, made the decision to go trayless in Prospect Hall, the main campus dining facility. The change has been a rousing success, with nearly $160,000 savings and a reduction of 35 tons of food in the past year.

In short, going trayless in the dining hall means the students carry food on plates only, rather than using trays, which can encourage taking more food than needed. The hope was to reduce waste and save unnecessary costs while educating the student body about making smarter and healthier food choices in the dining hall. Chris Mongeon, Sodexo’s general manager of dining services at Plymouth State, said the decision to go trayless has been an overwhelming success.

“The trayless program has allowed us to promote our sustainability efforts, reduce food waste and educate the students,” Mongeon said. “As it happens, this program also reduces costs in food and utilities, so it is really a win-win situation for everyone.”

When compared to the previous two semesters using trays, PSU has determined the average meal cost, on average, of the approximate 500,000 meals served was reduced from $2.61 to $2.40, a savings of more than $110,000. When other cost factors like electricity, propane, water, sewer and chemicals are factored in for food preparation, dish washing and disposal, the cost savings from going trayless add up to $159,918.

Additionally, benefits include less waste going to the landfill; less dishware breakage; and fewer food deliveries to campus helping to lower PSU’s carbon footprint.

PSU’s Special Assistant to the President for Environmental Sustainability William Crangle said the change to trayless meals was a good one from several viewpoints.

“The cooperative effort we received from student government and the Sodexo staff in making the original decision helped to make the transition easier,” Crangle said. “The positive results of the program included a significant reduction in food waste, energy consumption and water savings, which helped the University take a step forward towards its overall goal of carbon neutrality.”

Many of the nation’s 4,000 colleges and universities will cut trays from their dining services within the next five years, estimates Julian Dautremont-Smith, associate director of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or Bruce Lyndes

In the News

Example Image

PSU awards 2015 Maslakowski Education award to Rose Colby

The 2015 Plymouth State University’s Dennise Maslakowski Education Award was given to Rose Colby of Epping who was chosen because of her commitment to quality, competency-based education. The award was created in 2008 in memory of the late Dennise Maslakowski, PSU’s former Associate Vice President for the College of Graduate Studies. “To receive this honor means a […]

Example Image

Marietta woman chosen as 2015 ACE Fellow

Plymouth State University History Professor Marcia Schmidt Blaine, daughter of Suzanne Schmidt of Marietta and the late Frederick K. Schmidt, has been named an American Council on Education Fellow for the 2015-16 academic year. Blaine is one of 47 individuals selected for the prestigious leadership development program that prepares senior leaders to serve American colleges […]

Example Image

PSU plans archaeological dig at Enfield Shaker Village

PLYMOUTH — Enfield Shaker Village has been described as one of New Hampshire’s most magnificent architectural achievements, and beginning on May 26, it will be the site of a history-making archaeology project. For the first time in its history, an archaeological dig at the Village has been planned as part of a Plymouth State University […]