Dining/Food Services


Orca Green Machine

TU RecyclesOrca Green Machine quickly decomposes and turns food waste into gray water that is sent to the sewer system. This saves money on disposal and transportation costs and reduces methane gas in landfills. Previously, there were two 4 cubic yard waste receptacles being emptied six times a week. With the addition of the Green Machine and staff training, there is now one 8 cubic yard receptacle that is picked up three times a week, basically cutting the trash in half. The cafeteria is looking at additional reductions in pick-ups for the future. An Orca Machine was installed in August 2011 for Case dining waste.


The Sustainability Committee supports the removal of trays from Tray Less Dining option incorporated into dormitory cafeteria renovation on campus August 2010 after successful tray less dining day on Earth Day. Five of the seven dining establishments are fully tray less. Dining Services makes a concerted effort to conserve water. The committee works with Student Association to put surveys out to gauge student


  • Reduced their negative impact significantly with reduction of chemicals in cleaning products with eco-friendly detergents costing 40% more to use.
  • Pre-consumer food waste composting program - P.A.C.E. - Partners for a Clean Environment - Tulsa org - use of best management practices for fat, oil and grease - local vendor recycles grease into biodiesel.
  • Biodegradable/Eco-Friendly cup/container options for take-out at small increase in price (Styrofoam eliminated (reduction of 5000 containers per week) except for catering option and goal to reduce plastic bottles by utilizing glassware)
  • Catering has moved to reusable utensils and removed plastic utensils and others items as standard service. Reusable service costs more per person, and is not offered as default.
  • Supplies and food products are purchased in bulk to decrease packaging
  • ECO-Clam Shell Reusable Containers exchange program initiated Fall 09 for take-out dining (trade used containers for clean) - fully implemented in /Fisher Hall cafeteria BUT, clamshells did not tolerate repeated cleaning, so Dining Services is looking for a replacement.
  • Increased Re-useable dishware options - discount incentive for use of re-usable mugs and bags - Fall 09Student-run caffair-trade coffee (Cort and Martha Dietler Cafe, environmentally friendly food: organic, vegetarian and vegan food options with ALL BIODEGRADABLE disposable small wares products (cups, utensils, plates, etc) - opened Aug 09
  • Use of locally produced/purchased food (5%) - Thomas Brothers buys local produce such as apples, lettuce, herbs and greens from Conrad Farms, Bixby; Livesey Orchards, Porter; J and M mushrooms, Miami; Peach Crust, OKC; Hardies Fruit and Vegetable and approximately $250K is spent purchasing locally grown or raised food. Milk is purchased from local vendors: Hiland Dairy and Borden. These items are primarily: Fruit, flour, baked goods, bbq sauce, vegetables, and all dairy. Vegan and vegetarian dining options available at every meal and much produce is from Albert Source Organic in Denver, Colorado
  • Organically grown or produced food purchased and includes snack food items and beverages- about $100K spent annually on organically grown or produced food. All chicken and milk purchased for the campus are hormone and antibiotic-free. Most seafood is purchased according to sustainability guidelines.
  • Formal policy in place regarding purchase of organic and/or sustainably produced food
  • Recycled napkins used
  • Glass bottles recycled in main student center Sports Bar, which generates approximately 35 gallon tubs of glass bottles every 3 days. Glass is recycled at catering events. Fair trade coffee purchased, which is 90% of total coffee purchased on campus. Other fair trade food products include: chocolates, beverages, pastas, energy bars, trail mixes, teas and cookies