College Campus Dining Sustainability Initiatives

  • Composting:  Since beginning its composting program with the goal of diverting 100 percent of the college’s dining hall food waste from local landfills, the project has diverted several hundred tons of waste from Wake County landfills. The Grounds Department of Facilities Services built a vermicompost system, a decomposition process that uses Red Wiggler worms in addition to microbes and bacteria to convert organic waste into nutrient-rich fertilizer.
  • Implemented trayless initiatives to save water, food waste and electricity. The benefits of tray removal include:
      • Saves food waste – removing trays reduces food waste by 25-30% per person.
      • Saves water – each tray needs 1/3 to ½ gallon of heated water to clean.  One student can save almost 500 gallons of water annually.
      • Saves energy and reduces our dependence on non-renewable fossil fuels.
      • Saves cleaning agents which can pollute our water supply.
  • Re-usable to go containers at Belk Dining Hall.
  • Re-usable to go mugs at Belk Dining Hall and BeeHive Café.
  • Recycling Bins available at Cate Center (bottles and cans).
  • Meredith Campus Dining works with produce distributor, Freshpoint, and primary distributor, Sysco, to source locally grown products and alter menus to incorporate as much locally grown food as possible (Approximatey 5-10% of food served in Belk Dining Hall is from NC,SC, GA, TN and VA).
  • 100% of seafood purchased meets Monterey Bay Watch guidelines for sustainable seafood.
  • Greenware plates, utensils and cups used for disposables in catering (100% compostable, made from corn grown in the USA, and 100% annually renewable).
  • Recycling program for back of the house materials.
  • Energy-efficient light bulbs are used whenever possible.
  • Napkins made from 100% recycled materials used in all facilities.
  • Meredith Campus Dining participates in Recyclemania, a national competition for universities to promote recycling.
  • All vegetable fryer oil is recycled by FiltaFry.
  • Fair-trade coffee served whenever possible.
  • Induction, convection and pressure cooking technologies and methods are utilized to reduce food waste and energy consumption.
  • Bulk dispensers are used when practical to reduce packaging.  Products available in bulk include juices, sodas, milk, ketchup, salad dressing, honey mustard, BBQ sauce, and most cereals.

    Meredith College Dining Services received the City of Raleigh's 2009 Natural Resource Conservation Award for demonstrating natural resource conservation for their composting program.  Click here for more information.