UHDS WASTE MINIMIZATION PROGRAM PRODUCING POSITIVE CHANGE
In November 2011, UH Dining
Services began a program called Waste Minimization that was part
of a larger initiative of ARAMARK, the company contracted to
provide food service to the UH campus. The program aimed to
reduce the amount of food waste produced by the kitchens when
preparing and serving food.
The program begins by identifying two types of waste, avoidable
and unavoidable. Avoidable waste can be as simple as cutting too
much off the tip of a carrot when removing the stem. Unavoidable
waste includes things like the leaves on top of a pineapple, egg
shells, and other inedible parts of food. By determining what
waste is avoidable, we can reduce the amount of food going to
landfills and cut down on energy used to order and produce more
food than is necessary.
What was originally intended to be a two-week pilot program
developed into an ongoing process for measuring and reducing the
amount of waste produced in UH kitchens. This program has seen
great success thus far, and will continue to measure the
progress of UHDS in an ongoing manner.
When the program first began, UHDS took measurements for the
first week to determine a starting point upon which they could
base all subsequent measurements. The totals used include both
avoidable and unavoidable waste, and are measured in ounces per
person served. See the table below to compare the difference
between where we stood in November at two of our highest-volume
locations and how UHDS was performing in April, five and a half
months after the program began.
The Fresh Food Co.
|11-9 through 11-15
|4-25 through 5-1
We at UHDS are very proud of the job our team is doing to help
minimize waste and in turn help the environment, said Tony Urso,
resident district manager for UH Dining Services. We are only
scratching the surface at this time and plan to really become
even more efficient in the near future to help save our planet!
For more information about UH Dining Services visit