Recyclable Containers to Replace Toby Spots

“The to-go ware recyclables are recyclable everywhere on campus,” Cassad wrote in an email. “The Toby Spot dishware is not recyclable so we expect to find fewer disposables in the trash, which will lower the amount of trash that goes to the landfill.”

Cassad said the Toby Spot program, which began in Fall 2008, was considered successful because it was convenient for students. However, there were problems with the loss of dishware each year.

“Theft was not a concern in the implementation of the Toby Spot program nor was it a factor in the decision to remove the Toby Spots,” Cassad said. “The larger issue was the lack of available cleanware to serve patrons during rush periods (or directly after) due to abundance of ware that was taken to-go to offices and residences.”

In the minutes report of the April 17, 2012 HDH meeting, HDH Executive Director Mark Cunningham said that the Toby Spot program was sustainable, but that it cost approximately $200,000 to replace lost plates and utensils each year. In the report, Cunningham said that the program was being reviewed for improvement during Spring Quarter 2012.

Cassad said that cost was not a factor in the removal of the Toby Spots, and that the program did not cost more than the cost of offering the new disposables.

“It is a standard expense within services as large as our program to have to replace dishware and utensils,” Cassad wrote. “The numbers do not indicate that the Toby Spot program had a greater expense than offering disposables.”

Cassad wrote that HDH hopes that the new recyclable dishes will promote the proper disposal of items, for example, recycling plastic ware and reducing contaminated and comingled refuse. Additionally, Cassad said that HDH anticipates that the new recyclables will lead to more composting and benefit the community overall.

“We anticipate that students will decide to eat in our dining halls more often which has a positive community building impact and provides accessibility to post-consumer compost refuse bins (food scrap bins),” Cassad said.