Zero Waste Initiatives

Campus Dining takes environmental sustainability seriously and advocates the concept of Zero Waste. We have partnered with the Office of Sustainability to identify future opportunities, fulfill Appalachian's strategic plan and be a leader of sustainable campuses nationally. Through thoughtful purchasing decisions, reducing consumption, composting, and increasing recycling we can drastically reduce what we send to the landfill.


  • Hand of worker scooping seeds from a melonBy consolidating products into a central warehouse facility, we have reduced delivery truck traffic on campus
  • Local purchasing as much as possible reduces miles traveled from farm to campus - 25% locally sourced products for the 2020-2021 year
  • Purchasing bulk canned and dry goods as well as bulk fresh meats, fish and produce reduces packaging
  • Most of our food prep is completed in house in our three central production units 
  • Roess Dining Hall uses a trash pulper, which has drastically reduced the volume of paper and food waste being sent to local landfills
  • Campus Dining stomped out Styrofoam™ in 2016, switching to paper to-go cups and boxes
  • Sustainable & Hygenic Napkin Dispensers make it easier for diners to use only what they need and reduces napkin consumption by approximately 25%
  • In March 2017, new paper towel and soap dispensers were installed in dining halls reducing waste in the bathrooms
  • Rivers Street Cafe and Park Place Cafe use permanent glassware, dishes and utensils, eliminating the need for disposables
  • Patrons using permanent glassware in Rivers Street Cafe receive free refills on sodas and tea
  • Filtered water stations are available to refill water bottles
  • Campus Dining encourages the use of reusable cups, bottles and mugs by offering a Flat Rate Discount
  • Campus Dining collects glass jars and containers for academic departments such as Biology and Chemistry
  • The Bake Shop uses overripe fruit from the dining venues to make banana pudding and bread as well as apple cake and bread
  • Overproduced food is donated to The Hunger & Health Coalition - 25,974 lbs in 2019-2020 which equates to approximately 25,974 meals
  • The Market in both Trivette Hall and the Bookstore offer reusable shopping bags


  • Metal spoon sculpture hanging on wall of dining hallWe participate in Appalachian's Single Stream Recycling program, which allows all recyclables to be placed into the same bin
    • New recycling stations with signage to improve recycling education were introduced in Roess Dining Hall and Trivette Hall in 2015-2016
  • Zero Waste outreach interns from the Office of Sustainability work in our tray return areas to educate visitors about waste separation
  • The Recycled Aluminum Spoon Sculpture by artist Joe Bigley that hangs in the Roess Dining Hall is made from aluminum foil and pans used in the dining concepts during the 2011-2012 academic year
  • The use of cardboard balers has reduced the amount of items taken to the landfill by approximately 40%
  • Composting pre-consumer organic material since 1999 - approximately 100 tons yearly
    • This material goes to the recycling center and is made into compost that is used around campus
  • All of our brochures and order forms are printed on-campus at Mountaineer Printing on recycled-content paper
  • Campus Dining employee hats and shirts are sourced from Renew Merchandise and made from recycled plastic bottles

Want to learn more, take a Behind the Scenes Tour!