Senior Thomas Radzwich is working with the Colleges’ food service to introduce a trayless system which would allow HWS to join the many campuses that have already made the green move. Sodexo, Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ dining distributor, already has 230 of its campuses implementing a new trayless dining system.
According to Radzwich, without trays, water usage, food waste, energy and chemicals can be greatly reduced. For example, Aramark, another dining distributor, found that between one-third and one-half gallon of steaming hot water is sprayed on each used tray. He also notes that the reduction of all these factors saves money, which in turn can be better used by dining services.
The trayless dining idea started when Radzwich and Hillary Anderson ’10 decided to work together in conducting an experimental trayless day for an environmental course. A study that analyzed one meal period on campus found that food waste was down from 182 pounds to 131 pounds, a 19 percent decrease. Beverage waste was down from 195 pounds to 126 pounds, or by 28 percent. The decrease in food and beverage waste was significant, keeping in mind that the amount of water and energy saved to clean the trays must have also been significant. Saga already composts 1.2 tons of food per week. Radzwich is now planning to extend this project into his Senior Integrated Experience (SIE) by introducing “Trayless Tuesdays.”
While the details of the project will unfold during the course of his SIE, he plans to make Trayless Tuesdays optional to give students an opportunity to adopt it at their own pace as well as to have students available with information detailing each student’s individual impact. He would also like participating students to sign a petition to keep track of numbers and hopefully use it to help complete the transition to an everyday trayless Saga. Ultimately, he believes that students will understand the environmental and money saving benefits of trayless dining.