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Purdue Dining Green

Sustainability is not new to Purdue Dining & Catering. Our department has dedicated itself to recycling, plate waste control, sustainability education, and equipment efficiency for more than 15 years. In 1993, a Waste Awareness Committee was formed to promote plate waste education through a campaign entitled, "Eat What You Take. One Scoop or Two. It's up to You."

Our current Sustainability Committee has overseen implementation of several programs over the last 2 years: Plate Waste Education through Wasteless Wednesdays, participation in Purdue's Green Week, education presentations to our staffs resulting in increased plastic recycling in the kitchens and our latest program, in conjunction with Refuse and Recycling, the trucking of post consumer waste to the West Lafayette Water Plant to power that facility's electricity through methane production.

Food Share Program

Beginning in August of 2009, Purdue Dining & Catering began redistributing foods that are safe but not up to our dining standards to the less fortunate in the greater Lafayette area.

From August 2009 through December 2009, 23,363 pounds were diverted from the landfill under this program. This accounts for .5% of the total food consumed on campus. We have been working with Greater Lafayette's Food Finders and are now working with the Park County Food Pantry.

Reusable Bottles and Mugs

Purdue Dining & Catering began using reusable bottles in August of 2008. The bottles are sold in the mini mart and retail restaurant operations. The bottle can be refilled in the retail operations or in the On-the-Go! operations. The program proved to be so successful that it was expanded to reusable mugs as well.

Learn how to purchase a reusable item, visit the Reusable Items page.

Disposable Cups

Even though we have great success in promoting reusable drink containers and their use, we still need to serve some of our customers in disposable cups. The new "Green" Ecotainer compostable Coke cup and the Solo Duo Shield insulated paper cup has replaced our use of Styrofoam in our On-the-GO! locations at Ford, Earhart and Windsor and in the retail operations at Third Street, Tarkington, Cary and Harrison.

Green Cleaning

While we are researching and testing green cleaning products, we already employ green cleaning with steam cleaners in our dining courts. The high pressure steam cleaner removes debris and grease from many surfaces, sanitizing the space at the same time. Because there are no chemicals involved, the only byproduct is water. The cleaning is quick with no rinsing involved. The steam cleaners are used on hood vents, fryers, Panini grills, and various stainless steel equipment and surfaces.

Oil and Grease Recycling

Housing and Food Services has chosen Bio Fuel Consultants to remove all used oil and grease from our facilities. The oil and grease is used to make bio fuel.

Purdue Dining & Catering Recycling

Purdue Dining & Catering also recycles and reuses many items from one unit to another, not only in an effort to save money, but also to keep unwanted but usable items out of the landfill. During the last two years, over $190,000 worth of uniforms, linens, trays, decorations, dinnerware and various large and small service equipment pieces were repurposed.