Cafeteria trays disappear at Samford, across the country

09.24.2008 by AndrĂ© Natta · → 8 Comments

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The new trend in the greening of America is the removal of trays from college cafeterias from Ohio to California). Birmingham’s own Samford University has joined in on the fun, leading to several degrees of reactions on the school’s campus. Here’s the story courtesy of the Samford Crimson. There’s also this piece (and the three pages of comments) over at Slashfood. Some food for thought (and hopefully for comments here too).

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Filed under: environmental

8 comments
Patrick Sewell
Patrick Sewell

@ Jules: The large dishwashers I've used, and which Samford presumably uses, since it certainly has a conveyor belt, move dishes through on racks along a conveyor. So more dishes means the machine runs longer, using more electricity, but not more water, as that is recycled through the system. These dishwashers don't run on loads. Furthermore, why not just ask students to replace clean trays when they are finished, since most trays don't get dirty when they're used? This is a silly proposal.

Patrick Sewell
Patrick Sewell

@ Jules: The large dishwashers I've used, and which Samford presumably uses, since it certainly has a conveyor belt, move dishes through on racks along a conveyor. So more dishes means the machine runs longer, using more electricity, but not more water, as that is recycled through the system. These dishwashers don't run on loads. Furthermore, why not just ask students to replace clean trays when they are finished, since most trays don't get dirty when they're used? This is a silly proposal.

Jules
Jules

@ Patrick. Trays take up a lot of room in the dishwasher that could be used for actual dishes. If you get to wash more dishes per load, then you have to run less loads.

Jules
Jules

@ Patrick. Trays take up a lot of room in the dishwasher that could be used for actual dishes. If you get to wash more dishes per load, then you have to run less loads.

Patrick Sewell
Patrick Sewell

I don't get it. How does this save water? From my experience washing dishes on a large, industrial dishwasher I know that each dish does not use additional water. When you turn the dishwasher on at the beginning of a shift it fills with water. This water is cycled through the system until you turn the machine off and drain it. Additional water is added automatically, as necessary due to evaporation, etc. So, it seems to me that very little additional water is used to accommodate trays, especially since it isn't necessary to pre-rinse them, as most of them are completely clean anyway. It does consume electricity to keep the machine on longer, but this seems like a minimal cost. So, I don't get it. There are a million less intrusive, more practical ways to save electricity and water.

Patrick Sewell
Patrick Sewell

I don't get it. How does this save water? From my experience washing dishes on a large, industrial dishwasher I know that each dish does not use additional water. When you turn the dishwasher on at the beginning of a shift it fills with water. This water is cycled through the system until you turn the machine off and drain it. Additional water is added automatically, as necessary due to evaporation, etc. So, it seems to me that very little additional water is used to accommodate trays, especially since it isn't necessary to pre-rinse them, as most of them are completely clean anyway. It does consume electricity to keep the machine on longer, but this seems like a minimal cost. So, I don't get it. There are a million less intrusive, more practical ways to save electricity and water.

Noel
Noel

If Samford ends up selling the trays the students as souvenirs, the students could just bring their own personal tray to lunch. Problem solved.

Noel
Noel

If Samford ends up selling the trays the students as souvenirs, the students could just bring their own personal tray to lunch. Problem solved.