Wheaton Persuades Students to Switch to Trayless Using Fun Campaign

Submitted by Raul Delgado, General Manager

Angela Owen ‘16 holds up her last tray before going trayless

Angela Owen ‘16 holds up her last tray before going trayless

Bon Appétit is enacting waste reduction initiatives companywide — and while the leadership role is comfortable, making the action a partnership feels even more agreeable. Bon Appétit at Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL, partnered with student government to promote going trayless. After determining that tray waste equates to more than 600 pounds daily, the team approached student government with this and other data and requested input for launching a campuswide education campaign toward waste reduction.

The first step the partnership took was introducing Trayless Tuesday to the main café. General Manager Raul Delgado also started a recruitment campaign for getting students to commit to going trayless for the rest of their college career at Wheaton. Those who make the commitment agreed to let their picture (holding their final tray before going trayless) be posted on a board in the café, and they received a special sticker proclaiming, “I switched.” The long-term goal is to make every day a trayless day at Wheaton College.

But for now, what a dent a day makes! On the breakfast shift alone one Tuesday, Lead Dishwasher Fred McCarthy asked Raul if fewer people had come through at breakfast. He said he usually sees three to four full bags of garbage per shift, but he held up a half-full garbage bag to show Raul all that was collected. Hopefully such tangible results will inspire more students to go trayless all the time.