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

February 9th, 2009 by Adam

PLYMOUTH, N.H.-
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’s Christine Hoch wins 2014 Sara Jayne Steen Operating Staff Service Award

PLYMOUTH — A dedicated Plymouth State University financial aid counselor who strives to provide superior customer service has been named the recipient of the 2014 Sara Jayne Steen Operating Staff (OS) Service award. Christine Hoch of Plymouth has worked at PSU for more than 10 years. Plymouth State University President Sara Jayne Steen said Hoch […]

Example Image

Plymouth State University’s Angel Tree project provides Christmas gifts to area families

PLYMOUTH — Plymouth State University’s Angel Tree Project provided nearly 700 gifts to area children for this year’s Christmas season. The Angel Tree Project partners with 14 Plymouth-area schools and non-profit agencies to provide gifts for youth and teens during the holiday season. PSU Community Service Advisor Linda Corriveau ’11G, said this year’s Angel tree […]

Example Image

Plymouth State names Leslie Castonia the Patricia Storer Award Recipient

PLYMOUTH — Leslie Castonia has been named the 2014 recipient of the Patricia Storer Award by Plymouth State University. Jim Hundrieser, PSU’s Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, presented the award at a Nov. 7 ceremony. He noted Castonia has been an integral part of Plymouth State University for nearly 11 years as […]