University of Georgia Food Services Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Policy

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University of Georgia, GA, US

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Type: Policy

Status: Ongoing

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UGA Food Services takes environmental sustainability very seriously and advocates the concepts of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle in all campus food services operations. Food Services has been a long time campus advocate of these concepts. Food Services was recognized with the 2003 Community Champion award for its support feeding the homeless in the community. Some of our other achievements are:


  • The four dining commons and our two food courts have trash pulper systems installed. These systems drastically reduce the volume of paper and food waste being sent to local landfills. The use of these systems also dramatically reduces water usage in trash disposal systems.
  • We consolidate the majority of our deliveries to a central food storage facility, which reduces delivery truck traffic on campus.
  • We place napkins on tables instead of at silverware stations, which means it is easy for our customers to use only what they need. We estimate that this reduces napkin consumption on campus by 50%.
  • Purchasing products with minimum packing.
  • Installing timers on lighting
  • Specifying energy efficient replacement equipment
  • Use of energy efficient lighting
  • Use of electric hand dryers in lieu of paper towels in public restrooms
  • Reduction of water use - Example: Snelling Dining Commons reduced water use by 38.9%


  • The four dining commons and the Eatery at Memorial Hall use permanent dishes, glassware, and flatware. This eliminates the need for disposable products.
  • Overproduced food is donated to Full Plate, a local affiliate of America's Second Harvest. They distribute food to local charities that operate emergency shelters, food pantries, after-school programs and soup kitchens in the Athens area. For more information on our involvement with charities, see our community achievements section.
  • Our customers can purchase a reusable "Big Swig" mug at any of our retail locations. Refills are discounted to encourage our customers to utilize this program.
  • Our employees are encouraged to reuse envelopes and office paper.


  • In all of our facilities, we recycle our office paper, cardboard, glass, plastic and metal cans. New employees are taught the procedures and value of recycling. They are also given a reusable travel mug with the "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" message on it to remind them of the importance of these * We encourage our customers to recycle their newspapers by providing convenient recycling bins in many of our facilities.
  • All of our facilities recycle their cooking oil.
  • We recycle all of our ink jet and toner cartridges.
  • We purchase office paper with a minimum 30% recycled content.
  • Providing on campus collection sites for recycling cardboard, newspapers, plastic and aluminum.
  • Converting to green cleaners and energy efficient lighting.