Greener Colleges Take Pass on Cafeteria Trays

Environmental effort has some students complaining about inconvenience
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 25, 2008 4:12 PM CDT
Glenville State College in West Virginia is one of dozens of colleges nationwide no longer providing trays in its cafeteria in an effort to conserve water and reduce waste.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Campus cafeterias across the US are phasing out lunch trays, but the move has some students feeling, ahem, de-trayed, the AP reports. The point is to conserve dishwashing water and reduce food waste by discouraging huge piles of food, though hungry scholars say it’s not worth it. "I'll just keep coming back for seconds," one says.

Food companies expect hundreds of their university clients to follow the trend. The University of Florida says it’ll save 470,000 gallons of water per year, and one company found that ditching trays reduces waste by 25-30%. "So if a college is looking to go 'green,' they need to start looking in the dining facility," a company spokeswoman says.