Ball State University, IN Green Practices in Dining

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Ball State University, IN, US

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Type: Policy

Status: Published on 10/29/07

Source File:


2007-2008 Academic Year
Current practices to recycle, reuse, reduce waste & conserve energy

Food Preparation and Service

  • Donate wholesome leftovers and foods to be discontinued on menus to local services.
  • Purchase and use pre-cleaned and cut produce and fruit when feasible to reduce campus food waste.
  • Maintain “waste” records for over-production / out-dated, discarded food and “trim” waste on produce. Train employees in minimizing “trim”.
  • Maintain “service records” to prepare amounts that match demand to reduce waste.
  • Use smaller food containers at buffets, on salad lines, and on hot lines to prevent over preparation and spoilage.
  • Serve portion sizes that encourage patrons to return for “seconds” rather than “over-serving” resulting in food waste.
  • Conduct weekly inventories to keep stocks low and avoid spoilage / waste.
  • Prepare foods, as much as possible, fresh and “to order”, and in smaller batches throughout the meal period.
  • Date and rotate stock to ensure that perishable food does not spoil or sit on the shelf past expiration dates.
  • Use bulk condiments and salad dressings in “all you care to eat” locations.
  • Promote sales of fountain or dispensed bulk beverages to reduce the use of cans and bottles.
  • Conduct meal planning based on tracking of food consumption patterns to reduce purchasing costs and to keep waste at a minimum.
  • Use computerized recipes to make exact numbers of needed portions.
  • Recycle oil from fryers and other waste oils. Use bulk frying oil to reduce the need for paper and plastic oil containers.
  • Recycle coffee grounds.

Paper Goods and Packaging

  • Donate empty pickle buckets and cottage cheese tubs to charitable organizations.
  • Recycle corrugated cardboard boxes, glass, paper goods, plastic, newspaper, phone books, office ink and toner cartridges, batteries and office paper from copying, printing, and shredding.
  • Sponsor a reusable drink container program to all patrons in retail locations—purchase a large drink container and refill it for a reduced drink price on subsequent visits.
  • Purchase and use recycled napkins whenever feasible.
  • Purchase plastic containers with lids that can be washed and reused versus boxes and plastic wrap for transport of bakery products from one unit to another.
  • Use paper wrappers rather than Styrofoam or plastic whenever feasible.
  • Use stainless steel pans rather than aluminum foil disposable pans when feasible.
  • Reinforce the use and selection of china, silverware, and glassware by customers.
  • Buy convenience store goods in reusable totes that are returned to the vendor for refilling.

Cleaning and Chemicals

  • Utilize air hand dryers in “new” locations and install in “older” locations as those locations are renovated.
  • Use GREEN chemicals and cleaning methods to limit use and prevent waste.
  • Use cloth towels that can be washed rather than disposable towels.

Maintenance and Repair

  • Administer preventive maintenance programs in all units.
  • Properly dispose of paints, solvents, batteries, fluorescent bulbs, printer inks, and other items used in maintaining food service areas, offices, or food service equipment.
  • Recycle computers, cell phones, computer printer cartridges, and metals.


  • Buy energy efficient and energy star rated equipment.

Administrative and Unit Offices

  • Reduce waste and costs by making all Dining Service forms, policies, and procedures available as e-forms on the computer.

Waste Collection

  • Participate in University co-mingling program with trash hauler who separates recyclables.
  • Provide waste containers whereby customers can properly dispose of aluminum cans and recyclable soda bottles. Ensure these items are collected for recycling.

Customer Awareness

  • Use patron and student involvement in menu planning and evaluation.
  • Offer attractive “educational” flyers, posters, and labels to heighten environmental awareness of patrons and encourage use of permanent dishware, choosing foods that will be eaten and not wasted, and returning to the line for second helpings.
  • Solicit ideas for change from patrons.

Employee Awareness

  • Educate and train employees to encourage a strict adherence the policies and procedures to facilitate compliance with our environmental goals.
  • Dining Service staff personnel shall serve on campus environmental task forces and remain pro-active in all environment activities.

New Initiatives

  • Blue bag recycling program
  • Develop new reusable beverage container programs
  • Promote programs at Orientation