The Food & Recycling category looks primarily at the policies and practices of dining services in relation to sustainability. Points are given based on the quantity and availability of locally grown food, as well as organic and sustainably produced food. The utilization of reusable dishware and eco-friendly to-go containers is also taken into consideration. The category also examines programs on recycling (campus-wide and dining specific) and composting (food as well as landscape waste).
- More than four in five schools buy food from local sources. An impressive 82 percent of schools devote at least a portion of their food budgets to buying from local farms and/or producers.
- Almost three in ten schools have a community garden or farm on campus. Campus community gardens and farms are maintained by 29 percent of schools.
- Three-quarters of schools offer fair trade coffee and other food items. Fair trade coffee and other fair trade food items are available at 74 percent of schools.
- Approximately half of schools compost food or landscape waste. Food composting programs exist at 55 percent of schools, while 46 percent of schools report composting landscape waste.
- Schools are offering food to match different dietary needs and preferences. Vegan options are offered on a daily basis at 68 percent of schools.
- Biodegradable to-go containers are available at 32 percent of schools.
- The average grade for the Food & Recycling category was “B-.” For a summary of grade distribution for this category, please refer to the chart on the right.
More than four in five schools buy food from local sources.