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Sustainability in Dining Services


Green at Western logo
Dining Services participates in the WMU sustainability initiative to reduce waste, conserve vital resources, and protect the campus environment. Read more about current Dining Services practices to recycle, reuse, reduce waste and conserve energy.

WMU students have also shown tremendous support and initiated green projects to help make campus dining environmentally friendly according to the Western Herald student newspaper.

Locally sourced products

Locally Sourced foodsWMU Dining Service is committed to serving products grown and/or processed in the Great Lakes states (Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Wisconsin). Items that are grown and/or processed in this region are labeled with our Locally Sourced logo in the dining halls. Find out more about locally sourced products in Dining Services.

Trayless dining halls

WMU Dining Service is trayless in all six of our dining halls. The trayless initiative began in 2008. Based on food waste audits conducted in 2008, food waste was reduced by up to 30% when trays were removed. In addition to reducing food waste, there are also environmental savings that result from the decreased dish washing volume when trays are no longer used. Fewer cleaning chemicals are used, less energy is consumed to run dish machines, and their is less water waste. WMU students are applauded for their leadership in the national move to trayless dining and their immediate acceptance of this service style.

Wesustain EcoMug buttonReusable drink cups

WMU Dining Services introduced the Wesustain EcoMug as an eco-friendly alternative to disposable packaging. The insulated travel cup can be used at any Dining Services Campus Café for fountain beverages, coffee, tea and cappaccino drinks. In addition to getting a discount on the price of drink refills, the reusable Wesustain EcoMug helps to reduce unnecessary landfill waste normally generated by styrofoam and paper cups.

Be kind to the earth! The Wesustain EcoMug is refillable, reusable and recyclable.

Recycled napkin dispensing

Dining Services replaced table napkins with new Tork Xpress napkin dispensing systems. To minimize waste and reduce the environmental impact, the new dispensers:

Food Diversion Program

WMU Dining Services has collaborated with local farmers from Bear Foot Farm Natural Meats & Fresh Produce in Paw Paw, MI to create a Food Diversion Initiative (FDI). Dining Services has purchased and labeled bins used for gathering and transporting food waste to the farm, located about 25 miles from campus. The farmers pick up the food waste three times per week and feed the vegetable and fruit scraps to their pigs. Listed below are the total food scraps amount diverted since the initiation of the program: