Colby’s highly ranked food may be a draw for some, but now getting it to the table may require more than one trip.
One of the newest sustainability initiatives to hit Colby’s campus is trayless dining. It all started with the student-run Environmental Coalition, which studied water and food waste on days with trays and days without. On a single day without trays, food waste dropped 575 pounds. Ongoing research showed that on trayless days food waste dropped 66 percent. The college expects to save 79,000 gallons of water a year and 50 tons of food waste.
Though reducing food waste may be important to some, to others the program is a hassle. “I think we will see a lot of frustration among students,” said Ali Coughlin ’09, who didn’t use a tray even before they disappeared. She pointed to Bob’s (Roberts) dining hall, where students don’t pick their own portions and use larger, square plates. “I think plenty of people will complain about carrying heavy plates and how things can no longer be stacked. ...”
It may be a different story, though, in a few years. “Since I have never used trays before, I don’t think it will really bother me at all,” said first-year student Audrey Gourlie. “Plus, having no trays will help my balancing skills as well as a good cause.”