Trayless Dining

  • Conserves energy by eliminating heating water
  • Saves water
  • Reduces food waste into landfills, incinerators and waste water facilities
  • Lessens the amount of detergents and aids in washing trays

Waste Disposal

Typical food waste is 70% water and 30% food. At GSU Dining, facilities use a SOMAT system to dispose, extract and pulp pre-consumer and post-consumer waste into a confetti like mixture which has saved the dining halls over 100 tons of waste in the last year alone! We are able to do this with composting through two processes:

Closed Loop Organics, a leading organic recycling company, then picks up the pre-consumer and post-consumer mixture and delivers the material to Wilbro’s Organic Recovery who converts the material to compost. Closed Loop combines food waste, yard waste and wood waste creating a high quality organic compost with zero landfill contribution or re-sale

Lean Path

We use LeanPath Waste Management System to help control pre-consumer food waste. LeanPath weighs all pre-consumer food waste, generates reports on results and guides managers and employees on suggested ways to waste less.


  • Food prices
    Food prices have increased dramatically in the last 5 years and LeanPath has helped to thwart those additional costs.
  • Food Costs
    We have also decreased our food cost, reduced our waste disposal costs and increased employee engagement, creating more employee efficiency.

Environmental Impact

  • Less pressure on the overall food systems, specifically farmers, smaller carbon footprint, a decrease in fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, fuel and animal feed.
  • Reduces waste to landfills which reduces methane and other harmful emissions.

Social Impact

  • GSU Dining Halls creates a sense of community and shared support towards a common good among employees and patrons.

Interesting Facts

  • Compared to the November 2009 baseline, Patton Dining Hall had a waste avoidance of 73,456 lbs or 36.73 tons
  • Compared to the August 2011 baseline, Piedmont North Dining Hall avoided 49,421 lbs or 24.71 tons of waste
  • This means that GSU Dining Halls have eliminated 61 tons of food waste, equivalent to 12 elephants
  • We have also saved $161,000 in total waste avoidance

Bulk Condiments

The dining halls switched from smaller plastic bottled condiments to bulk condiment dispensers in 2011.

Environmental Impact: minimizes plastic bottle usage and waste.

Economic Impact: saves GSU dining $9,084.29 per year.

Economic and Social Impact: decreases labor required to marry partial bottles together while eliminating a tedious employee task.


  • GSU picks up all cardboard, aluminum, plastics and paper weekly
  • Our chemical provider reuses the containers in an effort to decrease waste
  • Geo Biofuel is a socially and environmentally conscious “Greenfuel” firm dedicated to providing energy while protecting the environment by using state-of-the-art “no spill” technology and making sure all oil collected is 100% recycled
  • The fuel is produced locally, made from natural, renewable resources (vegetable oils, animal fats, cooking oils), making it less toxic than table salt and as biodegradable as sugar!
  • Biofuel creates approximately 78 percent less carbon dioxide and 100 percent less sulfur emissions than petroleum-based diesel fuels

Napkins and Napkin Dispensers

GSU contributes to minimizing pre-consumer waste through recycled napkins and napkin dispensers.

EasyNap by Georgia Pacific The napkins used at our dining halls and retail location are 30% post-consumer fiber and have a minimum of 95% recycled fiber content, making them great compost material. A one-at-a-time dispensing unit reduces paper usage and waste.