Dining: Environmental Sustainability 

  • The majority of ISU Dining locations are “tray-less,” which reduces excessive food waste and also encourages diners to eat smaller, healthier portions.
  • Four of ISU Dining’s dining centers compost food waste that is processed at the ISU Compost Facility. This prevents food from entering the landfill and also provides ISU’s outdoor spaces with a sustainable, low-cost alternative to fertilizer.
  • ISU Dining locations use a “pulping system” for dish washing that filters out food waste. This system is used to prevent unwanted items from entering our water supply.
  • A portion of used grease is sold to the ISU BioBus, a student group that seeks to make biodiesel from reclaimed vegetable oil and supply it to CyRide for use in one or more of the Cybrid transit vehicles that serve Iowa State and the community of Ames.
  • In addition to recycling traditional items such as glass and cardboard, ISU Dining recycles the plastic pallets used for food delivery. Broken kitchen equipment is also recycled as scrap metal. Learn more about ISU Dining’s recycling efforts via the educational video on the department’s YouTube page.
  • Rather than send unwanted materials to the landfill, items such as outdated dishware sets are sent to ISU Surplus so that they can be sold to community members who can use them in new ways.