Colorado State dining halls costly but sustainable

Christina Vessa

The Colorado State University Dining halls aim to reduce waste through several sustainable programs such as composting.
The Colorado State University Dining halls aim to reduce waste through several sustainable programs such as composting.

Colorado State University is home to six dining centers and two express facilities that aim to provide students with healthy dining options in a sustainable setting.

The CSU dining centers take part in trayless dining, green to-go containers and composting, among other things. Used cooking oil is collected and recycled to make biodiesel. According to the CSU sustainability report, this process helps reduce costs and resources.

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The report states more than 12,000 meals are served per day. One bit of waste in a setting like this can have a major impact.

“Making sure we do our part is a responsibility that comes with feeding this many people,” said junior natural resource tourism major Sara Weaver, who is a work leader at the Braiden dining center.

The Earth Flow Composter collects up to 2,000 pounds of food waste from the CSU dining centers per day. The resulting compost is used in landscaping projects on campus, according to the sustainability report.

The price of a single meal in the dining hall was raised from $11.15 to $11.50 this semester. This difference contributes towards up-to-date facilities, the rising cost of food, amenities and employment.

“We want to give students a good value for the money they pay,” said Director of Dining Services Liz Poore.

Sophomore political science major Olivia Cole said she agreed with the fairness of the meal plan prices.

“I definitely get the best deal for the money with my meal plan,” Cole said. “You come to eat as much as you want and stay as long as you want.”

Not all agree, however.

“I don’t think I am getting the best deal for my money,” said sophomore electrical engineering major Connor Watkins. “I only bought an off-campus meal plan because I didn’t think the LSC was going to be finished.”

Though the prices may be debated, the CSU dining halls work hard to contribute to CSU’s high rankings in national sustainability.

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“Being sustainable is important to me as a person, and being in an environment that supports that is great,” Weaver said.

Collegian Reporter Christina Vessa can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter at @chrissyvessa.