June 1, 2020

Aramark experiences utensil issues, seeks student push for Green Thread Initiative

In the first month back to campus, many students have noticed the on-again off-again appearance of Styrofoam cups and plastic utensils being used in the Capital Court (formerly known as the Main Dining Room).
In response to the occasional usage of Styrofoam cups and plastic utensils, Aramark has placed shipment orders for new utensils. It appears that the return to washable and re-usable cups and utensils is complete, according to Aramark Director Anthony Baker.
“We are currently back up to par with our cups and utensils,” Baker said.
It is unclear as to why the need to use non-renewable, non-biodegradable cups and utensils was necessary.
“We don’t really know,” Baker said. “A lot of forks and other utensils can get thrown away, and some of them turn up missing over break.”
Students have been frustrated with the lack of efficiency that plastic utensils provide.
“I don’t really like using plastic forks and utensils,” senior Michael Grandison, said. “They don’t really work as well as the regular silverware.”
Baker said that the dishwashing machine is and has been up and running and fully-functional. But, due to the shortage of cups and utensils, Aramark had to order a shipment of new supplies which are arriving and being put into circulation in the Capital Court.
“If it’s not the dishwasher then it doesn’t make sense to use plastic silverware,” first-year Brennan Miller said.

Aramark’s Capital Dining is also looking to implement its Green Thread Initiative. The Green Thread Initiative is a policy that would secure long-term environmental goals in regards to sustainable food; green buildings; waste stream management; responsible procurement; composting; and conservation of water, energy and transportation.
“We currently don’t run the program,” Baker said. “We need a student group to be driven to initiate the partnership with [the] university.”
A student group was involved at the beginning of the 2015 fall semester, but negotiations have since ceased.
Recently, The Grill in the Capital Court turned into a self-serve station briefly, only to return to staff-serve shortly after.
“We went to self-serve to see what the students eat more or less of,” Baker said. “We realized we lost the interaction piece of our job [by going self-serve at The Grill] and so we returned to the staff-serve to take advantage of the opportunity to interact with the students.”
Along with the new silverware, students can expect to see a decorative and informative sign placed by the Home Zone section of the Capital Court. The five-by-five foot vinyl sign will portray the food sources of Aramark’s Capital Dining services.
All the food sources and farms are grown in Ohio. A series of sources include Cleveland, Akron, and Toledo. Columbus and Canton farms are used as well. Aramark’s Capital Dining service also uses food sources out of Dayton and Cincinnati.


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