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UMD Dining Services has made strides in sustainable operations, purchasing, and offering healthy choices to campus.  A few highlights are:

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Local, sustainable, and healthy choices

Produce is purchased from the UMD farm (partnered with the Sustainable Agriculture Project), the local Food Farm in Wrenshall Minnesota, and Dining Services grows produce right off campus through the Edible Landscapes Project.   The addition of a Salad Bar in the Food Court (Fall 2012) has been a popular choice and a great place to get food from the UMD Farm from July – September!

Listen to an interview with Randy Hanson (leader of the Sustainable Agriculture Project and assistant professor in the University of Minnesota Duluth College of Liberal Arts) explore how the SAP farm provides local food and opportunities for students to explore the connections among agriculture, water and energy. (recorded on WTIP radio, August 2015)

Reducing waste

Meal planning, portion-controlled serving & bulk ordering reduces costs & packaging.  Leftover food that can be donated is given to Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank, both to help people and reduce waste (in 2013 alone, over 10,000 pounds of food was donated!). Aluminum, plastic and glass are recycled, and bakery produce brought in reusable containers.  Compostable plates, coffee cups, containers, and utensils are provided in the Food Court and Northern Shores Coffee Shop.  Foam plate and cups have been removed.  Compostable items are sent to the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District's commercial composting facility.  Green-certified cleaning products are used for safety and the environment. UMD Catering offers events with 0% waste for groups over 25 people by utilizing washable dishware, linen napkins, donating unused food and composting leftover/uneaten food.  Mention you aim to have“zero waste” when making your reservation!

Saving energy and water

A state-of-the-art Hobart dishwashing machine was installed in 2006 uses steam heat, has an efficient run time to reduces water & electricity.  The UMD Dining Center is now a trayless operation, which saves water and energy, along with encouraging healthier portion sizes and lessening food waste.  Light fixtures have been replaced with LEDs and fluorescent bulbs to reduce electricity consumption. The closing “check-list” in the Dining Center includes powering down televisions, to assure that  TV’s do not use power when the DC is empty. You can read more about Dining Services current sustainability efforts here, or visit the UMD Dining Services home page

Want a tour?  

To learn more, consider scheduling a Campus Waste Reduction Tour!  It all starts with Dining Services: how do you feed thousands of student meals every day with virtually no waste heading to the landfill?  Find out by visiting the Dining Center to learn about waste reduction and pulping/composting.  Also, learn about the operational impact of compost collection: visit retail campus food operations, learn how to sort waste properly at UMD, and smell the loading dock for yourself!  Email today.

Hosting an event? Why not go low-waste?go low waste banner

Hosting a low waste event on campus is easy!  Follow these easy steps.

Contact UMD Catering to get started planning your low-waste meal event today!