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Trayless dining comes to Emerson

trayless dining hall at emerson college

Emerson College will soon join the growing number of college campuses that have “trayless” dining halls, said Marc Hamilton, associate vice president for property management, who chairs the President’s Committee on Sustainability. The dining hall will go trayless beginning Wednesday, April 20 (during Earth Week), through the end of food service in May. Trayless dining will continue in Fall 2011.

“The goal is to conserve energy, food, and water,” said Hamilton. A national study conducted by ARAMARK, the College’s food service provider, found that 79 percent of the 92,000 students surveyed supported trayless dining as a way to reduce campus waste. Colleges and universities that have gone trayless include Boston University, Tufts, Princeton, Brown, Williams, New York University, Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, and Skidmore.

Students waste less food—about 30 percent less—when they go trayless, according to the ARAMARK study. Washing trays requires one-third to a one-half gallon of water per tray, as well as electricity. 

“Going trayless is one more way the Emerson community can support the College’s initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint,” said Hamilton.

The President’s Committee on Sustainability joined with student group Earth Emerson to support and implement trayless dining.

A limited number of trays will be available for those who require one due to disability or other circumstance.

Questions concerning trayless dining may be sent to  

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