Proudly Supporting Local GrowersIn Dining Services, sustainability is of great importance to us. We want to make sure we are being good stewards of our environment. We work year round to assist the university in reducing waste, recycling and conservation. In fact, in both 2012 and 2013, UNI Dining services was the recipient for the CARE award, which stands for Creating a Responsible Environment.

Some aspects of our sustainability program include:

  • Recycling of paper, glass, tin, plastics, newspaper and cardboard
  • Grease is recycled
  • Using a prime vendor for a majority of our food and supplies (fewer delivery trucks)
  • Centralized processing of vegetables, reducing waste of food, water for processing and labor
  • Purchase 100% recycled napkins
  • Local Food Program initiated in 1998 that currently spends:
    • $106,416.56 in the immediate 7 county region for local growers and processors.
    • $886,471.68 from local growers, processors and companies from the state of Iowa.
    • $1,730,260.84 from local growers, processors, and companies within a 250 mile radius.  
  • Utilizing herbs from the UNI Greenhouse
  • Provided 17 tons for composting
  • Use of a menu management system to help control food use and waste
  • Refillable mug and water bottle programs in retail areas
  • Coffee grounds available for customers at Maucker Union to use for personal compost
  • Tray free dining – started in the Fall of 2011
  • Working with Panther Plot, a student run garden initiative

Community Involvement

  • Distribute leftovers to the Salvation Army and Northeast Iowa Food Bank.
  • Provide work opportunities for high school students and persons with special needs.
  • Host interns from the academic programs.
  • Participate on local advisory boards.
  • Host, present for; hold leadership positions, and participate in professional associations and conferences such as the National Association of College and University Food Services.