Gateway Cafe does away with trays

By Steven Tonthat and Casey Chin

The new semester marks the beginning of a lot of changes at UH Manoa, including a pilot program designed to make the campus greener.

Hungry students will find something missing as they enter the new Gateway Cafeteria: trays. UH's primary food service provider, Sodexho, is ditching trays in a nationwide effort to move towards sustainability.

According to Sodexo spokesperson, Marc Nakamoto, by removing trays from cafeterias, the university could save a substantial amount of money.

"This is something that's going across the nation," he said, "We're looking at substantial savings, like, 200 gallons per about a thousand meals served."

Although the program is only in its pilot phase, already it's getting mixed reviews from students. According to UH student Jeff Dailly, the trayless feature is more of a hinderance than a help.

"I don't see why you can't have trays," he said. "Because then that way, your're saving trips."

Student Vidushi Jetly feels that even though the trayless feature is a little inconvenient for her, it's good for the university.

"It is a little inconvenient that we have keep going up so many times," she said, "but it's good if it's saving water."

Sodexho is also teaming up with Styrophobia, a local company which distributes biodegradable products, such as cups, trays and utensils. According to Styrophobia spokesperson, John Sweeney, the biodegradable products they offer have a special number which corresponds to how easily the they break down.

" (Products) with the number zero are not recyclable," he said. "It's actually made to be broken down and reused for fertilizer."

If the pilot program is proven successful at Gateway, other cafeterias, like Hale Aloha, could also ditch their trays in an effort to move towards sustainability.

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