As UC Merced enrollment continues to grow, Dining Services strives to sustainably keep up with campus demand through sustainable purchases and waste-reduction efforts, all while accommodating a culture of meals to go. Dining Services proactively promotes sustainability in the realm of healthy living, local sourcing, and food literacy.
During the 2016-2017 academic year, Dining Services will focus on increasing sustainable purchases by taking advantage of the rich agriculture available in the Central Valley. Dining Services will also continue its efforts in identifying innovative ways to reduce the amount of food waste generated.
Promote Healthy Living and Sustainability
- Create nutritional labels for the remaining 20 percent of in-house recipes that do not have labels;
- Implement the “How much Sugar in is my…?” campaign, with photos of food items with sugar cubes stacked next to illustrate sugar levels;
95 percent compost and 2 percent disposables;
- Revamp compost training program with signage and add to both the student and employee orientations;
- A revised flat rate of 35 cents for all take-out orders
- Professional signage at the tray-veyers that clearly indicates waste streams
- A “You Wasted This” campaign aimed at comparing 19 meals of disposables per week against other countries usage; and
- Working with Housing to purchase 1,200 reusable mugs for on-campus freshman and offer a refill incentive
Best Practice in Dining:
UC Merced was the first University in the United States to integrate an OZZI machine with a campus card system which allows customers to manage both the checkout and return of their OZZI container through a University ID Card. Ozzi’s provide an environmentally responsible way to reduce landfill waste through the utilization of reusable containers. The OZZI initiative received local and regional media recognition and was awarded the “Best Innovative Waste Reduction Program,” by the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference in 2012.
If you are interested in working for Dining Services or learning more about our programs, please visit us online.