Sustainability Initiatives

Graphic including four images (composting center, a salad, pizza boxes, and a Tower Garden) and text reading "pursuing sustainable solutions, that's our commitment."

Graphic reading "10,117.5 pounds of donated foot to Full Pate in FY'19.  26.7% Estimated reduction in plate waste with trayless dining. 16,550 estimated gallons of water saved per semester with trayless dining."

Logo reading "Green Restaurant Certified"

Certified Level One Green Restaurants®

Based on continuous sustainability efforts, in Fall 2019, Bolton, Oglethorpe, Snelling, the Village Summit, and the Niche (Health Sciences Campus) dining commons were named Certified Level One Green Restaurants®. These locations have met the Green Restaurant Association’s rigorous environmental certification standards. The University of Georgia is proud of the environmental accomplishments that have brought us to this award and we are committed to continuing to improve our environmental practices by implementing new environmental steps in the future.

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Dining Services, in partnership with the Facilities Management Division and the Office of Sustainability, has diverted food waste from the landfill since 2014, through initiatives such as eliminating non-compostable items in our locations.

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Tray with a line through it.Trayless Dining

Our dining commons practice trayless dining, which helps reduce waste, conserve water, and save energy. Without trays, less uneaten food is discarded each day. Water and energy are saved by not having to wash trays. 

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plant iconCampus Grown

Part of our sustainability effort includes making sure that we use as many local products as we can. This focus has gotten even closer to home with our expanding projects using produce grown on the UGA campus. 

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Some of our recycling initiatives include recycling cardboard, glass, plastic, and metal cans in all of our facilities and collecting and recycling pizza boxes at the Niche Pizza Co. through a partnership with the Office of Sustainability. 

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Reducing Waste

Reducing food waste on campus is a top priority for Dining Services, in partnership with the UGA Office of Sustainability and UGA Facilities Management Division. Some initiatives include being 100% plastic-straw free and replacing Styrofoam packaging with compostable fiber containers. 

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Regional Partners

Dining Services purchases regional produce and food products when available and using as many local products as we can. A variety of items in the dining commons and markets have ingredients sourced directly from farms in Georgia and bordering states. 

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Dining Services is also a major contributor to both the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia and Full Plate. These organizations ensure that our surplus food is distributed to human-service agencies in the Athens area. 

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