The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Thursdays become second trayless day in Montgoris

St. John’s is going trayless for an extra day starting this week, expanding the ban on the use of the large, gray trays in Montgoris Dining Hall to Tuesdays and Thursdays, said Chartwells officials.

Last week, students dined without trays for the whole week in coordinance with Sustainability Week.

Gina Capetanakis, marketing manager for Chartwells, said she felt the trayless “went fairly well” and believes the initiative has gained its fair share of supporters.

“I think there are plenty of students who don’t mind eating without trays,” she said.

“If there are students who don’t support the trayless initiative, I think they should take a look at the amount food wasted when trays are in use and also take a good look at the statistics on just how much is thrown away.”

According to Sustainability Facts and Information from the Office of Auxiliary Services, since Trayless Tuesday was first introduced a month and a half ago, the University has reduced food waste by 1,575 lbs, saved 6,930 gallons of water and decreased Greenhouse Gases by 2,485 lbs.

The report also said that of the more than 3,000 meals served and more than 3,000 trays washed daily in Montgoris, the average person leaves between 1.2 – 1.8 oz. of food waste after each meal with 1/3 to 1/2 a gallon of water needed to wash each tray.

Capetanakis said the money saved from reducing waste has been used to support other University programs, such as Campus Ministry’s Midnight Run events and the reduction in water and electricity, she said has “helped reduce the University’s carbon footprint.”

“Our mindset is, if we can do these numbers based on only one day a week for seven weeks, why not try and see if we can double these numbers by just adding one more day over the same period of time,” she said.

Capetanakis said she hopes the program has not alienated students.

“We just want students to be more conscious of what they eat, not to forego eating,” she said. “They’re free to return to the dining area with their plate for seconds and thirds, if they choose to do so.”

Some students said despite the positives, they still find the trayless program to be unfavorable.

“I understand it will help in making students less wasteful, but at the same time, it’s a pain having to make multiple trips, especially when you are in a rush and just want to eat a meal and go,” said senior Luis Ortiz.

Sophomore Jennees Abraham said he felt Montgoris going trayless has thus far “not been too much of an inconvenience.”

“It’s a little bit of a hassle going back and forth, but it’s really no problem,” he said.

Freshman Song Yun also said he has not been greatly affected by the decrease in tray use.

“I’m fine with it,” he said. “I usually don’t use trays because I mostly get [a small amount of] things.”

Other students said they felt one trayless day a week was manageable, but they were not in favor of an extension.

“I was fine with just Tuesdays, but I wasn’t with the entire week [without trays],” said freshman TJ Acierno.

Chartwells officials mentioned that although a move towards a complete discontinuation of trays in Montgoris is not out of the question, that idea will take some time before coming to fruition.

“I think it would be a good thing if we could go trayless all the time, but we are currently taking this in stages,” said Edward Taraskewich, Resident District Manager for Chartwells.”I don’t know of too many people who don’t think this is a good idea, but it is a change in philosophy that people are having a hard time with and will have to get used to.”

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