Plastic green to-go boxes sit next to the entrance to Atherton Union, one of the two dining halls on Butler’s Campus. These new to-go boxes are reusable so Butler students are required to return the boxes when they are finished using them. Photo by Ben Caylor.
TOMMY PIERCE | STAFF REPORTER | firstname.lastname@example.org
With the start of the new semester, Bon Appetit, Butler’s dining provider, announced changes that will be made in Butler’s dining halls for spring 2022. The changes being made are focused on reducing the amount of waste created on campus and providing students with a wider variety of dining options.
Compared to the two allotted last semester, students will now be allowed use of three reusable to-go containers, known as BLUEgo containers. In an email to The Butler Collegian, Bon Appetit dietician Katy Maher said many students utilized the BLUEgo containers last semester, and with the updates, she expects more students to use the containers as a to-go option for their meals.
“Students, faculty, and staff are allotted three BLUEgo containers on their accounts, allowing more flexibility and time in getting them returned to Atherton Marketplace,” Maher said. “BLUEgo containers can also be returned to the Butler Brew, Plum Market at C-Club and Residential College.”
Cade Chezem, junior biochemistry major and SGA Speaker of the Senate, said by implementing the reusable containers, Butler dining was able to eliminate about 150 pounds of waste last semester.
Students and faculty still have the option to take disposable paper containers, but at a fee, which was implemented Jan. 17 according to Maher.
Chezem said he is excited that the BLUEgo containers will be more readily available to students, but sees concerns with the fee associated with the disposable containers.
“In this past week, I had some students reach out to me [concerned about] the charges associated with the container cost,” Chezem said. “Sustainability initiatives [are] always great, especially if it’s working like it seems to be, however, we don’t want to inflict any more charges on students.”
To combat food waste, Jamie Valentine, assistant director of the center for urban ecology and sustainability, CUES, said that Butler Dining is putting composting bins at Atherton.
“[There] is a composting project and it will be for students to be able to use composting [bins],” Valentine said. “We expect to see those composting bins out this semester at the end of January.”
In response to student feedback, Maher listed updates that are being put in place to extend hours of operation and services offered in the campus’ dining options.
Outside of normal meal periods, Atherton will have limited food options between 10:00 and 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 and 4:30 p.m. At Resco, lunch will be extended another hour, serving food until 3:00 p.m.
In addition to having an all-day breakfast bar, deli, salad, desserts and beverages available, Atherton has added a made-to-order station that will rotate weekly to include pasta, ramen, stir fry and more. Plum Market has added back soup options for students, and Maher said that they are in the process of testing new menu options. After delays due to supply chain issues, Trip’s Corner will be launching Sundae’s hand-dipped ice cream, milkshakes and smoothies this semester.