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W&M Dining launches reusable container program

William & Mary Dining Services is thrilled to launch the new Choose to Reuse program on campus.

The program offers reusable containers to William & Mary students eating in the dining halls in order to reduce the amount of waste generated from the use of disposable containers.

Each week, William & Mary students use and ultimately throw away 4,000 disposable to-go containers. Dining Services is making steps toward fulfilling Sodexo’s Better Tomorrow Plan commitments—focusing specifically on reducing inorganic waste and lowering its carbon footprint.

The official launch date of the Choose to Reuse program is January 21, 2015; however, Dining Services is offering a trial run, open to all students, Dec.1-17, 2014. This trial run is a unique opportunity for students to be the first to “test-drive” the reusable containers and help Dining Services refine the process as a whole for the official launch.

To participate, a student simply “checks out” a reusable container from the cashier at either Commons or Sadler Dining Hall, takes their food to eat later, and then returns the dirty container to the dining hall in exchange for a clean one.

The system will keep track of check-outs and returns with the students’ ID numbers. Once a student has swiped in for a meal, he or she can ask the cashier for a reusable container. The cashier will swipe the ID card again to record in the system that the student now has a container checked out. Upon return, the cashier will swipe the card to indicate the container has been returned, and the student may check out a clean one.

The Choose to Reuse containers are free for students to use; however, should the containers be lost or if the student fails to return the container by the end of the semester, the student will be charged $5. In addition, should a student wish to check out a reusable container while his or her account reflects an existing check-out, a $5 fee will be assessed.

More sustainability campaigns and programs will be introduced in the coming semesters, promoting a partnership with students to create a Better Tomorrow.