Waste Minimization

Waste Minimization extends to every stage of our operations. If not managed properly, waste accumulates and can have a long-term negative impact on the environment.


Sun Devil Dining composts back of house at all dining locations on the Tempe, Polytechnic and West campuses to align with ASU’s Zero Waste goals. This includes food scraps from meal prep as well as post-consumer food waste and napkins left on plates that are returned to dining hall dish belts.

Sun Devil Dining Composting Process

Commingled Recycling Program

We implement a robust commingled recycling program at all locations that accepts glass, metal, paper and plastic 1-7. Monthly spot audits reinforce training and identify sources of contamination.

Recycling Icon

Annual Waste Audits

Annual waste audits are conducted at select locations for a full operating day to ensure proper waste diversion practices are followed. These audits allow the Sun Devil Dining Sustainability Department and ASU Zero Waste to determine the waste diversion rate of a dining location/campus and to identify potential opportunities to minimize waste.

Annual Waste Audits

Recycled Fryer Oil

All used fryer oil is recycled for biodiesel and other industrial purposes.

Fryer Oil

Trayless Dining

Trayless Dining encourages customers to take only what they can eat, and reduces food waste by an estimated 1.5 ounces per person each meal. Trayless dining helps prevent nearly 75 pounds of food waste per person each academic year.

Trayless Dining

Weigh the Waste

The annual “Weigh the Waste” campaign is a data collection and student engagement program where all food waste returned to the dish belt in residential dining locations is weighed over the course of a meal period. This campaign brings awareness to portion control and food waste.

Weigh the Waste Poster

Surplus Food

Through a partnership with Food Donation Connection and local partner Waste Not, surplus food from retail, residential, coffee and catering locations is donated to those in need throughout Arizona.

Waste Not

Reusable Items

We offer a discounted 99 cent fill with a reusable cup at all retail and on-campus market locations to help to decrease single-use disposable waste on campus.

Also, at the on-campus markets, plastic bags have been replaced by recyclable paper and reusable bags.

Reusable to-go containers are offered at the Downtown Phoenix campus to avert a high number of take out boxes from the waste stream.

Reusable Items