Students at UGA can now save nearly 107,142 pounds of food and 16,550 gallons of water per semester by eating in a trayless dining system. Before removing trays from their five dining commons, UGA Food Services worked with the UGA Office of Sustainability to collect data on tryaless dining during a two-week pilot study. Snelling Dining Commons was set as the control. During the test’s first week, trays were provided in Snelling as normal. The plate waste that came through the tray return was measured by volume and weight. During the second week, trays were removed from Snelling and the same measurements were obtained. The water meter was also monitored to see how water usage would be affected with no trays to wash. The results showed a 26.7 percent reduction in plate waste and a 16.4 percent reduction in water usage during the week without trays.  Some of the many benefits of trayless dining include reducing waste, conserving water, and saving energy.  

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