Carrot tops emerging from the dirt.

Our Commitment to Sustainability

Last Mile Partnership

University of Cincinnati Dining partners with Last Mile, a Greater Cincinnati food rescue organization on a mission to save good food and get it to those who need it most. In the 2023 Bearcat Football season, the Last Mile has already rescued nearly 800 pounds of food from Nippert Stadium in just 4 rescues. We look forward to continuing this partnership and working towards minimizing food waste, while feeding our community in need.

Ozzi Reusable To-go Containers

One of the ways UC is working towards a sustainable dining program is through the initiation of a reusable to go box program. OZZI reduces waste through eliminating disposable products and replacing them with 100% reusable ones. The OZZI reusable containers eliminate the volume of paper products on campus.

Where Can I find OZZI?

  • CenterCourt, OTG, and MarketPointe will only offer carry-out meals with the use of an OZZI reusable box.
  • At Stadium View Cafe and Bearcats Cafe, students will have the option to choose between an OZZI box and a traditional disposable box.
  • All meal plan students are enrolled in the OZZI carry-out program, with the first box included in their meal plan. If a reusable box is lost or not exchanged for a token, it is $5 to purchase an additional container.

Ways You Can Decrease Food Waste

Tips for eliminating food waste with images of a plate, a bag of groceries, a refrigerator, a blender, a pitcher of water with fruit and a bowl of soup

Tips for reducing wasted food

  1. In the dining center, take only what you can eat. Come back for seconds if you are still hungry after finishing your first plate.
  2. Make sure you plan ahead and buy the right amount of food so you don't waste it. 
  3. Keep your refrigerator at home organized so you can see and use what you have.
  4. Blend it up. When produce gets over-ripe, use it in a smoothie.
  5. Spice up your water. Use peels of citrus fruits, apples, or cucumber to flavor your water.
  6. Add wilting veggies to soups or stews.

America is losing 40% of our food supply to the landfill; that's 1,250 calories per person per day.

Cage-Free Eggs and Humane Practices

In collaboration with the Humane Society of the United States, Dining Services has developed a new set of animal welfare principles and purchasing commitments which include the purchase of cage-free only shell and liquid eggs, crate-free veal, and gestation crate-free pork.

Vegan & Vegetarian Options

A designated vegan entree is offered at each meal at Vegan Corner stations. The majority of other stations offer menu options prepared with ingredients selected by the diner, creating the opportunity to customize vegetarian and/or vegan versions.

Plant Strong

UC has earned an A+ on the PETA report card due to our variety of vegetarian and vegan offerings.

Responsible Purchasing

University Dining Services purchases local, seasonal and responsibly raised, grown and sourced products whenever possible. 

For example:

  • We serve 100% of milk we serve is hormone free.
  • 100% of our beef and soy products meet our no deforestation policy.
  • 100% of our palm oil is RSPO Certified.

Food Sourced Locally

UC purchases produce items that thrive in our region (apples, tomatoes, melon, squash, etc.) from a purveyor that deals with local farms. Approximately 65% of annual dining services purchases are sustainable food (e.g., local, and/or certified organic/cage free/humane and/or certified Fair Trade).

Sustainable Seafood

All seafood offered at UC is sourced sustainable in conjunction with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program.

Trayless Dining

UC practices trayless dining service to reduce food and water waste. This practice has been in place since 2008.

Fryer Oil Reclamation

Food Services works with a company to manage all fryer oil in a closed system. This system has many benefits including employee safety and increased efficiencies. It’s also sustainable because the used oil is picked up and sent to a facility to be recycled into biodiesel.

Waste Minimization

All of our locations have waste tracking software installed in kitchens to manage food waste. Our kitchen associates can use the software to prevent pre-consumer waste and our students can make mindful choices to decrease post-consumer waste


On the Green, has a state of the art, self-operating composting system that takes food scraps directly from the dish return, sends it through a pulper and dehydrator, then turns the scraps into dry, usable soil, that our partner Go Zero picks up to use at parks in the Cincinnati area.