Disposable paper plates, utensils and cups have taken the place of plastic dishware at Montgoris Dining Hall since last November when the dishwashing machine started experiencing frequent problems. The most recent problem the dish washing machine has is an unmovable belt.
Each time the machine broke down a private repair company was called to fix the problem. During the time of maintenance, biodegradable paper plates, compostable utensils and plastic cups were used in place of the plastic dishware, according to Gina Capetanakis, marketing manager at Chartwells.
“The use of disposable plates and utensils at Montgoris Dining Hall is an interim solution while the dish machine is awaiting repairs,” said Capetanakis.
The machine’s belt is approximately 300-feet long and works similar to that of a bicycle chain. The belt has small plates which fit into the teeth of gears that are in between the track. The belt moves along the top and bottom of the gears so that there is continuous movement, Capetanakis said.
There are roughly 300 gears on the wheels and over 2,400 total parts in the machine.
Many of the teeth are bent or fell out of place “making use of the conveyor impossible.”
The bent teeth may also be the cause of missing slates which make up the actual surface of the belt that students place dishes on, according to Capetanakis.
To fix this problem, a completely new dish machine was ordered and is expected to be installed by mid-February. In the mean time, the disposable dishware has provided a temporary solution.
“Reusable plates, cups and utensils are the most preferred service items to use with the dish machine currently not working,” Capetanakis said. “In order to provide these items, Chartwells has incurred additional costs.”
Students had mixed reaction about having to use the disposable products.
“I don’t like them, I rather real plates and real utensils,” said sophomore James Whitfield.
Freshman Jake Katz said that the disposable products were easier to manage.
“It’s easier to dispose of stuff because I can just throw the entire plate away,” he said.