Our Green Initiatives
- "Totally Trayless": Dining Services went trayless saving 120,000 gallons of water used to wash the trays and eliminating tons of food waste.
- The new dishwashing machine will save the college 613,000 gallons of water (and $15,000) per year compared to the old one.
- We have switched to a phosphorus-free dish detergent in attempt to protect the fragile Lake Macatawa Watershed.
- Dining Services composts 40 tons of food waste and paper materials for use by our Grounds department for campus care.
- We partner with Alternative Energy Solutions to recycle our waste vegetable oil. Rather than paying a company to pick up this product, AES picks it up at no charge to the college and converts it to bio-diesel. They then use it to produce electricity for local needs.
- Excess prepared food in good condition is donated to the Community Kitchen on a daily basis. This organization opens their doors to anyone in the community in need of a meal and support.
- 43% of all food and goods purchased are grown, packaged, or manufactured within a 250-mile radius.
- An on-campus herb and vegetable garden supplements the needs of Dining Services.
- Napkins are made from 100% recycled paper and processed chlorine free.
- We currently recycle over 120,000 card board boxes each year as well as our tin, glass and plastic.
- Food and napkin waste is mechanically mulched to reduce volume by 50% before being composted.
- The types of environmentally friendly disposable products we use are made of PLA (corn based), potato and pre- and post-consumer waste items.
- 100% of food containers used at concessions at athletic events are compostable or recyclable.
- Staff avoids using disposable containers to drink out of while on the job.
- Used food service equipment is sold or dismantled and recycled where possible.
- During the summer 2013 renovation of Phelps Dining Hall all windows were replaced with energy efficient double pane Argon-filled windows.
- Along with the rest of campus, Dining Services has switched to more efficient T-5 flourescent lighting.
Summer 2014 Phelps Hall Renovation
- Our new dish machine will save 800 gallons of water over the one it replaced. It also reclaims heat from the exhaust system and returns that energy into the hot water reservoir. For this reason, it only uses building hot water for the initial fill. Overall energy use will be reduced by such an amount to pay for the new machine in about 7 years.
- We reused many pieces of existing hot holding and serving equipment in the new design.
- Our new salad bar is now refrigerated rather than filling the previous one with ice 3 times per day so we will use less energy and much less water.
- The new lights in Phelps Dining are LED which use a fraction of the energy of the incandescent ones they replaced. The lights also operate on a zone schedule so that only those that are needed at the time operate.
- We now use electronic menu monitors rather than printing paper menu boards on a daily basis.
- The temporary dining facility we used to feed summer conferences in was designed and built to be reused on campus by our transportation and grounds departments.
Related Dining Services pages