Reusable containers to be introduced to Mabee

By Spencer Jacobson, Staff Writer

Newman students on a meal plan will soon be using reusable containers at Mabee Dining Center after the passing of the Sustainability in Mabee bill in the Sept. 29 SGA meeting.

SGA has purchased the initial 300 reusable containers at $5 each to cover the students on a meal plan and the commuting staff and faculty at a total cost of $1,500.

Great Western Dining Service will purchase additional containers as needed.

Junior Kimfuema, the senator who started the initiative, said he is excited for the switch from single-use to reusable containers.

“Every academic year, we waste over 64,000 styrofoam containers, and it will only worsen since students will prefer takeout over a dine-in option due to COVID-19,” he said.

Kimfuema said the containers have been ordered but they are on back-order.

Once the new containers arrive, each student on a meal plan will be loaned a reusable container as needed and will have the option to clean their own container for reuse. Otherwise, the Mabee Dining Center will clean it for them and provide them with a second container.

People without a meal plan will have the option to dine in or use a styrofoam container.

To ensure all students cooperate with the new system, those who do not return their container more than twice to carry out their food will either be fined $5 and given a new container or they can dine in until the container is returned.

At the end of each semester, students will need to return their reusable containers to the Mabee Dining Center.

Kimfuema said he hopes SGA can continue to improve the university’s sustainability.

“Since this was my very first piece of legislation as a new senator, I am proud that I am in a position that allows me to make these changes. I hope in the future, SGA can work with the Mabee Dining Center to increase sustainability efforts,” he said.

The bill was passed with a vote of 19-0-1.

PHOTO: Taylor Stevens, Staff Photographer