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Given that an estimated 30 percent of food in America goes to waste, it’s no surprise that restaurants, airports, hotels, and even colleges are devising new ways to deal with the wastage problem. Virginia Tech, according to a recent Associated Press story, has developed one low-cost way to cut down on edible garbage: take away food trays.
Reports Christopher Leonard for the AP:
Freshman students at Virginia Tech were surprised this year when they entered two of the campus’s biggest dining halls, only to find there weren’t cafeteria trays. The school got rid of the trays this summer to cut down on leftovers going into the trash.
“You have to go back and get your silverware and your drink, but it’s not that different,” said freshman Caitlin Mewborn. “It’s not a big hassle. You take less food and you don’t eat more than you should.”
Freshman Travis Carter said no one gripes about the extra trips to the buffet line, even though most were used to having trays in high school.
“It’s easier. It’s just less to fool with,” Carter said.
Getting rid of trays has cut food waste by 38 percent at the cafeterias, said Denny Cochrane, manager of Virginia Tech’s sustainability program. Before the program began, students often grabbed whatever looked good at the buffet, only to find at the table that their eyes were bigger than their stomachs, he said.