A couple months back, we blogged about two experiments where trays were removed from cafeterias in order to reduce waste. Looks like the idea is catching on at “dozens” of universities, including New York University, Minnesota, Florida, and North Carolina. The typical effect is a 50 percent reduction in food waste.
(At NYU this) fall, one dining hall that serves 1,000 meals a day will be trayless. By the end of the first semester, 50% of the campus will be trayless, says Owen Moore, director of dining. Food waste has been cut from 4.03 ounces per tray to less than 2.37 ounces.
According to a survey of 92,000 students by catering conglomerate Aramark, 79 percent supported the idea of trayless cafeterias. Aramark likes the idea too because saving food in many cafeterias – think dorms with meal plans – means saving money.