Fall of 2011 The Bostwick Marketplace became trayless! Our program was modeled after those of 100's of institutions of higher education in the United States and Canada. From the Fall Semester of 2009 we have removed trays from the resident dining program two days per week. Of the nearly 4000 meals that are served on Tuesdays and Thursdays we estimate 98% are served without trays. We further estimate a reduction of nearly 150 lbs of tray waste per day from this initiative. On campuses nationwide, this initiative has proven to reduce water usage, food waste and electricity. Over the summer of 2011 modifications to the dish belt will allow us to remove trays from general use in Bostwick.
We began Composting in April of 2011 and were able to maintain the process until May of 2012. During that time we were able to compost 13 tons of Post-Consumer Waste!
After literally years of discussion and planning, Bucknell Dining was able to find and reach an agreement with a local sustainable farm, Rowse House Farms. As of May 2012 we had provided 13 tons of food waste to their Vermee Compost operation. Unfortunately due to circumstances beyond anyone's control we had to cease the process with that partner. We are actively seeking a similar arraignment elsewhere and are hopeful we will do so in the near future.
We were extremely excited about this initiative as it allowed us to fully utilize the food left on plates after every meal!
All of Eat n' Park Hospitality Group's accounts have focused on purchasing products and ingredients from local and artisan suppliers for more than a decade. In 2011 Bucknell Dining was able to reach an extreme level at 37% of all purchasing being local. All farms and purveyors, in the Farm Source program, are from within 150 miles of Bucknell University
Since 2005 all of Eat n' Park Hospitality Group's cooking oil has been trans-fat free. As of 2007, all our used cooking oil from the dining areas of the Bucknell campus is collected by Valley Protein for processing into bio-diesel fuel. Biodiesel is a clean burning fuel for diesel engines. Biodiesel has a lower toxicity compared to petroleum diesel and lower emission of carbon monoxide, and emits much less particulate matter and carbon monoxide than petroleum diesel fuel. A number of vehicles operated by Eat n' Park Hospitality group are operated with biodiesel.
Bucknell University Dining Services supports using environmentally friendly supplies and we are working to limit excessive packaging as well as to fully utilize compostable products wherever possible. The retail dining program utilizes a number of biodegradable to-go containers as well as the recycled paper napkins already in place throughout all of our facilities. We also offer biodegradable service ware in our catering department. A large percentage of our marketing materials are printed on recycled paper, also.
In partnership with the Environmental Club and the Facilities Department Bucknell University Dining Services has developed the "Be a Refiller" Program. This is a program where for only $1.00 guests purchase a sticker they place on their own 16 oz mug. This sticker entitles the owner to have a price reduction on 16 oz mugs of coffee at both the Bison and the Library Café.
Our Retail Operations have initiated and taken part in a number of partnerships with the Environmental Club and the Facilities Department to offer sustainable catering at athletic events. They also replaced 9 inch foam plates in the Bison with reusable baskets with paper liners.
One of our more prominent programs related to sustainability is the bi-annual Local & Organics Food Dinner. This meal is very popular among students and faculty and features local product offerings on the menus at the Bostwick Marketplace. The meal features items from growers, farms, dairies and purveyors from the local community. We also have the opportunity to introduce theses 'supplier partners' to the Bucknell University community at the event.
Beginning in spring of 2008 Bucknell University Dining offered our guests and opportunity for 'paperless' comment input and response. Guest comments were sent via email and responded to with our E-comment board. Utilizing a digital picture frame we display their responses in a display case outside the Bostwick Marketplace.
In the Bostwick Marketplace and the Bison Retail Operations we offer Fair Trade Coffee. Bucknell University Students and Faculty support a specific coffee plantation and Community in Nicaragua. In the Bostwick, we offer this 'Bucknell Brigade' coffee. In the Bison we offer at least one Starbucks Fair Trade coffee at all of our locations.
Starting in the fall of 2008, Bucknell University Dining developed the position of Student Sustainability Coordinator define new initiatives important to the student body, and facilitate an ongoing relationship via dialogue with the University. As of 2011 we have renamed the position to Dining Sustainability Ambassadors and have 4 of them working with us; Reilly Price, Olivia Tomeo, Alex Hom and Jessica Ertel.
Within in the Eat n' Park Hospitality group there exists a Greening Council that sets policies and ensures that we are following the best practices for the environment. There is also a similar group here at Bucknell University. We have active representation in both groups which we believe displays our commitment to sustainable dining here at Bucknell University.
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