We operate two Certified Zero-Waste facilities on campus: the caf and the Food Court.
These locations are audited by a third-party organization who assesses if waste is being placed in the proper stream (i.e. organics, recycling, landfill). ‘Zero-Waste’ status indicates 90% or more of total waste is being diverted away from landfill.
How do we achieve zero-waste?
Waste Diversion Walls
We have made recycling easy by installing waste diversion walls across campus. The walls feature a physical piece of each type of packaging used in the dining location, with each piece of packaging hung above the proper waste stream. These visually engaging walls provide all the information a customer needs to correctly dispose of their waste, eliminating the guesswork often associated with recycling.
Packaging and Tray-Free Dining
Eating at the caf is a packaging-free experience. The dining hall also does not utilize trays, prompting customers to be more selective about the amount of food they serve themselves on one plate.
On average, the removal of trays reduces food waste by 25-30% per person.
All of the food waste coming out of our kitchens is sent to an organics facility for composting. The food is transformed into nutrient-rich material to be used by farmers as fertilizers.
Did you know?
Instead of composting, our Starbucks Page Break location gives away free coffee grinds during the summer to be used as a natural fertilizer for people’s gardens.
Our kitchens are equipped with a food waste tracking program known as Leanpath, which utilizes a scale and camera to provide real-time information about the waste we are producing. Based on recent Leanpath data, our team identifies the largest opportunities for waste prevention and creates waste prevention goals for those specific food items.
Since the system’s implementation, the average amount of pre-consumer waste produced by our dining hall kitchen has decreased by 84%.
Coffee cups are the most common item in campus trash cans. Our Lug-a-Mug program helps wipe out waste by incentivizing the use of a personal reusable cup. Bring a reusable mug to any Dining Services location on campus and receive a $0.25 discount! If you buy a coffee every day
with a reusable mug at Carleton Dining Services locations, you’ll be receiving a FREE cup of coffee every other week from the Lug-a-Mug savings.
Ravens Coffee Co.
For only $1 you can wipe out coffee cup waste! Ravens Coffee Co. travel mugs are available for purchase at the following locations across campus:
- Tunnel Junction
- Food Court
- Loeb Cafe
- Bent Coin
134,000 straws and counting
Since beginning the plastic straw phaseout in the fall of 2018, we have kept more than 134,000 plastic straws out of landfills and local ecosystems.
In the fall of 2018, Carleton University announced its ‘Say No Thanks To Straw’ campaign. The campaign brings awareness to the problem of single-use plastic waste and initiated the transition from plastic to paper straws at all proprietary dining locations. Carleton Dining Services has switched from plastic straws and plastic flat lids to paper straws and plastic sip lids. Unlike most plastic straws, paper straws are recyclable. Sip lids combine the features of a lid and straw into one product, reducing overall waste.