We believe food waste is avoidable and unnecessary. The team makes food to order to avoid over-production and therefore, create less waste. If we do cook more food than is consumed, we are required by the Department of Health guidelines to throw away any food that has been prepared and displayed in our serveries. Uncooked items, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, are donated to local churches, food pantries, and soup kitchens to support the community and avoid waste.
All of our back-of-the-house (kitchen) food scraps are collected and composted and collected as part of DSNY organics composting program. Our front-of-house organic waste is also collected and composted by a private company.
As part of our commitment to sustainability, we have used compostable paper plates, bowls, cups, and plastic cutlery since 2008. In John Jay Dining Hall, reusable china and flatware is utilized. In 2018, we transitioned to 100% compostable paper straws and plant based plastic cups for to-go cold beverages.