Sustainability Inside and Out

Dining Services employs multiple sustainability practices within its foodservice operations and dining spaces. This includes kitchens that support energy and water efficient equipment, environmentally friendly food waste management systems, and landfill reducing programs, to name a few.

Sustainable Food Sourcing and Purchasing

Dining Services’ food sourcing and purchasing is primarily local (81% local food purchases). Our definition of local is food processed or manufactured within a 250-mile perimeter of Rutgers University-New Brunswick.

Tracking Food-Related GHG Emissions

In line with keeping global warming below 1.5⁰C, Rutgers Dining commits to the collective target of reducing the GHG emissions associated with the food we provide by 25% by 2030

LED Bulbs

About 5 years ago, Dining Services stopped buying incandescent light bulbs and instead, uses LED (light-emitting diode) Bulbs whenever possible.

Reusable Bag + Bottle Program

Rutgers Dining Services strives to ‘Feed People, Not Landfills.’ We contribute to sustainability by reducing our environmental footprint while enhancing our contribution to the social and economic capital of New Jersey, the nation and the world. Several attempts have been made to eliminate the disposables consumed by takeout. Rutgers Dining no longer provides plastic bags or paper cups at takeout, every student with a meal plan receives a reusable bag and bottle courtesy of Rutgers Dining. Our reusable bag + bottle program is intended to eliminate the use of plastic bags, styrofoam cups, paper waxed cups, lids and straws. Over 1.5 million cups, straws and lids have been saved from going into landfills to date. By switching to reusable bags, on average 300,000 plastic bags per semester are saved from going to landfills. Interested in getting one for yourself? Read more about it

Food Waste Digesters

In order to help reduce food waste, Dining Services rents 6 BioHitech SPROUT Food Waste Digesters. Food waste is broken down by enzymes and converted into environmentally friendly “liquid waste” that safely enters the sewer system. Most food waste generated by the kitchens at Neilson Dining Hall, Busch Dining Hall, and Henry’s Diner is currently being “digested”.

For more detailed information, please visit the university website on sustainability. For any questions about sustainability, send an e-mail to