Last year the Residence Dining Hall washed about 500,000 trays, wasting water and energy. This year, the cafeteria-style dining hall is making an effort to â€œgo greenâ€ by getting rid of the trays.
â€œThe main reason we got rid of the trays was to try to cut down on food consumption and conserve energy,â€ Brent Hansen, marketing coordinator for University Courtyard, said.
â€œIn just the month and a half of being tray-less we are already seeing a decrease in the amount of water weâ€™re using,â€ Hansen said. â€œThe dish crew are getting things done faster because theyâ€™re not as rushed and you donâ€™t have the huge pileup any more.â€
Joey Agundez, a 20-year-old junior at Fresno State, is going on his third year of living on campus and eating at the dining hall.
â€œI like the fact that theyâ€™re not using trays any more because it cuts back on the amounts of food people eat,â€ Agundez said. â€œBut at the same time we end up having to go back and forth for food.â€
But Agundez stressed that students want bang for their buck.
â€œThe dining hall is getting cheap,â€ Agundez said. â€œ Weâ€™re paying all this money for the dorms and the university and we go into the dining hall where thereâ€™s no trays and sometimes paper plates.â€
â€œI think the reason a lot of people are complaining is because they havenâ€™t adapted yet,â€ Agundez said.
â€œI think once everyone has adapted to it things will be fine.â€
Eco-friendly products gain wider use
Taking away the trays is not the only thing the dining hall has done to â€œgo green.â€ The dining hall has also started using eco-friendly products at all of its catering events.
â€œThey are 100-percent biodegradable, and weâ€™re composting them,â€ Hansen said. â€œPlates, napkins, utensils, etc. At the end of the event we are able to bag them up and take them to the university farm, the compost pile.
â€œWe also have eco-friendly products in the Bucket and we have various products in other operations. Catering and the Bucket are completely green.â€
Hansen said that the topic of â€œgoing greenâ€ had been discussed for a few years but that up until a year ago it had been really hard to purchase eco-friendly products.
â€œBack in March, there was an article in, I believe, the [Fresno] Bee, about UC Merced talking about how they are going green,â€ Hansen said. â€œ[UC Merced] is less than five years old and weâ€™re 100 years old and they are beating us to the punch. That helped as a catalyst to get us going.â€
Hansen said that they are going to ree-valuate things at the end of the school year to see if they are going to keep the trays out of the dining hall.