Dining Hall gets Green Dishwasher

January 26, 2010

LaPo's 'green' dishwasher generates paper waste

Last updated: 01/26/10 10:42pm

An illegal dishwasher at La Posada forced residents to eat their food on disposable plates, cups and plastic utensils. The dishwasher has remained in that status since the semester started.

“We were waiting on approval from the inspector to make sure the chemicals we are using in our new dishwasher were safe,” said Susan Dorry, manager for La Posada.

The dishwasher was installed over the break and was ready to be used on the first day of classes, but the delayed inspection forced the dining hall to use disposable plates and utensils for a week. Almost 4,500 patrons ate at La Posada with disposable wear during the delay, Dorry said.

“I had to order four cases containing 500 paper plates each, so over 2,000 additional plates were needed,” Dorry said. “We didn’t have to order plastic utensils or cups because we used some from our current take-out program.”

The absence of a mechanical dishwasher forced La Posada patrons to throw away all their dishes. Dorry said, the new dishwasher will save tons of gallons of water and decrease the University’s water bill.

“We cannot make actual estimations until we’ve been using the device for over a month, but compare our water usage after this February to February of last year (and) you’ll see a significant decline,” she said.

Dorry said the new dishwasher uses roughly half the amount of water as the previous installation, which she attributed to the rinsing process. The new machine uses twice the amount of chemicals as the old model.

La Posada’s recent efforts to create a sustainable dining hall include composting food waste, purchasing biodegradable items and eliminating the use of trays.

“We’ve saved over 20,000 gallons of water by going tray-less alone. This new dishwasher will do a lot to make us more sustainable,” Dorry said.

Alyssa Keill, a DeVargas Hall resident, said she was concerned about throwing away food and paper plates after every meal.

“I didn’t think much about it when we came back,” Keill said. “I got confused when it continued when school started. I didn’t like it because it felt flimsy and it felt like I threw away a lot.”

Jetaya Slora, a Alvarado Hall resident, said the new dishwasher should offset the waste.

“I thought, ‘I might as well take out my food.’ But I think the new system will pay off in the long run,” he said.

Published January 26, 2010 in News