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UC Celebrates Earth Day by Going Tray-less

by Going Tray-less in the Dining Centers.

Cincinnati, OH, April 14, 2008

In honor of Earth Day, which is celebrated across the country on April 22, University Dining Services is launching an awareness campaign, “Take Action,” which will include eliminating trays from the dining centers during the week of April 21-25 to support ecology, conservation and sustainability. 

“We see Earth Day as an opportunity to partner with the University of Cincinnati to help the campus community engage in socially responsible activities that put into practice our shared commitment to the environment,” said Omar Rayan, ARAMARK Resident District Manager. 

University Dining Services is taking this week to not only go tray-less, but also to highlight several other programs that have been incorporated into campus dining to reduce their carbon footprint.  They’ll also use ads, posters, and other materials to promote recycling and conservation tips, information and other resources focused on the environment.  "I am excited for the campus community,” says Ian Sroufe, Director of Operations. “Earth week is a great way to get the whole campus engaged in environmental awareness. Today there is more urgency to conserve, reduce, and reuse materials and resources. I feel this is our chance to do some substantial good for our planet."

Programs and events being held throughout the week will include:

Tray-less Week – It has been proven at campuses across the country that when trays are removed from the dining locations, less food is wasted and water and energy are conserved.  During this week, University Dining Services will remove all trays from both MarketPointe@Siddall and CenterCourt Dining Centers to help conserve.

Dim the Lights Day – To create an impact and conserve energy, MarketPointe Dining Center will turn the lights off in their North Wing seating through lunch and experiment with different lighting levels.

Weigh-the-Waste – To create awareness around the amount of food that gets wasted daily within the dining halls, University Dining Services will weigh-the-waste throughout the week during lunch and dinner, and will also make sure to do this during Tray-less week to show the difference in the amount of waste.  A contest will also be conducted for students to guess the amount of waste, and prizes such as recycled tote bags filled with Earth Day friendly items will be given away.


Earth Day Meal – University Dining Services will highlight environmentally friendly and local menu items that are being served daily or incorporated in entrees.

“Drink to Earth” Mugs – All of Dining Services café locations will encourage their customers to reduce packaging waste by purchasing reusable “Drink to Earth” insulated mugs.  Customers will receive their first drink in the mugs free and can continue using the mugs to purchase refills in the future.

Conservation & Recycling Tips – Students will be provided with easy tips on how they can take action, conserve and recycle while on campus as well as create awareness around conserving water, energy and electricity.

About University Dining Services

From burgers and pizza to vegetarian and vegan, University Dining Services offers choices to please a wide variety of tastes. Serving over 600,000 meals a year, we accommodate all budgets and schedules by offering value, variety, and convenient locations.  Between dining centers, a food court offering national franchises like Pizza Hut and Starbucks, and a number of cafes, nutritional choices are almost unlimited.  University Dining Services offers dining locations where students gather to meet people, make friends, share experiences, and stay current with university life.        


About ARAMARK Higher Education

ARAMARK Higher Education provides a wide range of food, facility and other support services to approximately 500 colleges and universities in the U.S. ARAMARK offers higher education institutions a single source for the development of dining and facility management solutions. Dining services offered include: master planning; culinary development and venue design; catering; and residential, quick-serve, and express dining concepts. Facility services offered include: facilities maintenance; custodial; grounds; energy management; capital project management; and building commissioning. For more information, visit