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Penn State tests going trayless

Penn State tests going trayless

Pilot at school's largest dining hall designed to test initiative's food waste reduction potential.

Penn State will be piloting trayless dining during the fall semester in its all-you-can-eat Findlay Dining Commons in East Halls. The largest dining facility on campus, Findlay will be the school’s first trayless dining venue.

The pilot is designed to determine how much food waste the school might reduce with a tray less approach to all-you-care-to-eat dining.

An article in the school’s Onward State campus paper noted that Northwestern University reduced food waste by more than 30 percent with a tray less dining program. A similar result in Findlay would produce a substantial saving as the dining venue currently wastes nearly 70,000 pounds of food per year, according to the same article.

Trayless dining saved Rutgers University some $300,000 after a trayless pilot produced a 20 percent food waste reduction last fall. However, a Cornell University study published last year questioned the benefits of trayless dining, noting that it found such an approach leading to students taking fewer salads and more dessert, among other drawbacks.

Penn State was No. 5 on FM's 2014 College Power Players listing with 14,365 students residing on campus and annual dining program revenues of $64.3 million.

Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]

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