Oxy Dining is committed to engaging in practices that reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill.
- Reusable dishware, silverware, and cups are available for use in the Marketplace.
- The student-run Green Bean cafe offers reusable glass mugs for students getting their drinks "for here."
- Students may bring and fill their own reusable mugs and water bottles at any of the dining facilities.
Eco-Clamshell Program- Occidental X ReusePass
"To-go" never looked so good! The Marketplace is switching to an all-reusables to-go program that will divert thousands of pounds of trash from landfills each year.
Help us reduce waste and improve our environmental impact at Oxy by joining the ReusePass reusable to-go program. Designed with safe, heavy-duty plastic, the eco-clamshell can be reused, re-washed, and eventually recycled at the end of its 4+ year lifespan.
Beginning August 21, 2023 , reusable containers will be mandatory for all to-go orders from the Marketplace. You must join the program to use reusable to-go containers.
Why it Matters:
The Oxy community uses tens of thousands of disposable take-out containers each year. Some can be composted - but others will end up in landfills. The most sustainable option if you need to remove food from the Marketplace is the eco-clamshell. You can be part of the solution!
What is ReusePass?
ReusePass is a sustainability program that lets diners check out and return reusable to-go containers, reducing resource consumption and diverting single-use containers from landfills. ReusePass makes checking out a reusable container as easy as checking out a library book! Each ReusePass user and container have a unique QR code. When you’re checking out a container, dining operators will scan your ReusePass QR and the container QR code, which starts your rental window. Like library books, all containers have a due date. Use your mobile number to access your ReusePass account, keep track of your containers, see return bin locations, and celebrate your positive planetary impact!
How do I join?
We are using ReusePass, which is a web application that helps you track and manage which containers you need to return. Go to app.reusepass.com, select Occidental College, and sign up with your Oxy credentials, your phone number, and your email. You may then add your personal QR code to your Apple or Android wallet.
What if I do not have a US or Canadian phone number?
If you want to sign up for ReusePass, but do not have access to a personal US or Canadian mobile number, you can use a Google Voice number to sign up for the program. Access Instructions to create a Google Voice number here.
How does the program work?
You must download the ReusePass app and sign up before you can request food to-go.Once you have signed up, you may request food to-go at any station, and the server will provide your food in an eco-clamshell.
Before you reach the cashier, you must sign in to ReusePass and have your QR code ready to scan. There will be a scan app device at each Marketplace register where you will scan the QR code on both the eco-clamshell and your personal device. The cashier will then finalize the transaction. Like a library book, this process links the container to your account.
Once you check out your first container, you’ll receive an SMS from ReusePass with details associated with your account. You can reference your ReusePass account to see a full record of all the containers you’ve checked out, when they are due back, and if you have missed any due dates.
Where and how do I return my container?
Returning containers is easy! Simply drop your container on the tray drop in the Marketplace- no scanning necessary!
Once returned, the dining team will collect, sanitize and scan in all returned containers.
The dining team typically scans in containers within 48hrs of drop-off, but it can sometimes take longer, especially over the weekend. If you’ve dropped your container(s) in a return bin on or before the due date, don’t worry, you’ve done your part!
🌟 Pro tip : You can see container due dates and find ReusePass return bin locations by navigating to your ReusePass account and clicking on “see return locations” in the top right corner.
When do I need to return my container? What happens if I don’t return my container?
Containers are due back to the tray drop in the Marketplace 3 days after checkout. If you fail to return the container/s within that 3-day window, the container will be marked as “late.” Once a container is marked as “late,” you will have 48 hours to return it, or your student account will be charged $8.
Do I need to wash or wipe out my clamshell before returning?
No, there is no need to rinse or wipe out the clamshell. Just return it to the tray drop like you would with a for-here plate.
Can I take multiple Eco-Clamshells out at a time?
Yes, the program allows for students to take out as many clamshells as they would like, with each clamshell having its own tracking data and specific window for return.
How do I know which container to return if I have multiple checked out?
Great question! You don’t need to keep track of the exact containers you’ve checked out each day; any container of the same type due will count as a return. For example, if you have 5 to-go containers at home and 1 is due today, you can return any one of them to complete your rental :)
Why is there a three-day return window?
The 3-day window exists to encourage participants to return their containers in a timely fashion, so they can get washed and reused.
This means we can serve the same number of students with fewer containers! It ensures the efficiency and workflow of the Reuse program, helping to create a healthier and happier planet. 🌎
Why is there only one drop-off location on campus?
Having other drop-off locations would require extra labor and would take people away from the positions where they are needed most. In order to make sure we are not adding labor to Marketplace staff, there will only be one location for the foreseeable future.
On my ReusePass account, what’s the difference between due soon and late?
Containers that are shown under the “due soon” section of your account are containers that you have recently checked out that are still within the 3-day checkout window.
If you fail to return a container within the 3-day window, the status changes from “due soon” to “late.” Once a container is marked as Late, you’ll receive an SMS reminder to return that container ASAP. If you do not return a container within 48 hours of it being marked as late, the status will display as “Charge Pending” on your ReusePass account, and your account will be flagged to be charged $8.00. This fee will cover the cost of the container and any administrative fees. It may take up to 4 weeks for a late charge to be posted on your dining account after the status transitions to “Charge submitted.”
What happens if a container breaks?
Accidents happen! If a container breaks, take a picture of the QR code on the container and send it to your campus dining team or your campus ReusePass SMS number. From there, please go ahead and return the broken container by the due date in a designated bin!
It’s important to return broken containers on time so we can give you credit for reusing! The dining team will use the QR code on the container to mark it as broken so they can understand the lifespan - and environmental impact - of each container!
Will this program make the lines move slower?
Although we expect a learning curve at first, we believe that using the clamshells will not make the lines any slower. The Android scanners are quick and efficient, and as long as patrons have their devices ready, the check-out process will be as seamless as it was before.
I am just one person; can I really make an impact?
Yes! Last semester, students participating in the ReusePass program around the US helped save more than 13,500 lbs of waste from going to landfills, conserved more than 85,000 gallons of water, and saved nearly 90,000 lbs of GHG emissions from going out into the atmosphere. That’s a HUGE impact!
Have feedback on the program? We’d love to hear from you!
For questions about your ReusePass account and feedback on ReusePass, send a text to ReusePass at (213)-212-7356 or fill out a feedback form, linked here.
*Health department regulations do not permit the use of personal to-go containers.
- After food can no longer be reheated or served in the Marketplace, it is frozen until student volunteers from the Excess Food Recovery Team (EFRT) is able to pick it up and redistribute it to local community organizations. This not only reduces the amount of food wasted in the Marketplace, but combats food insecurity in Los Angeles.
- You can check out EFRT's donation tracking data here. Since its founding in Fall of 2017, EFRT has donated over 10,000 pounds of food. For more information or to get involved, check out @oxy_efrt on Instagram or contact the Program Coordinator Lena Sullivan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Twice per week, food scraps from the Marketplace are picked up by students from the Bruce Steele Garden and composted on-site. The finished compost is then cured and used as a soil ammendment in the garden beds.
- Additonal food scraps and other compostable products (such as paper napkins and plates) are picked up and processed by Universal Waste Systems through the city of LA.
Cooking Oil Recycling
- Campus Dining contracts with Baker Commodities to reduce the amount of frying oil used via filtration. Once the oil is unusable, Baker Commodities recycles the fryer waste oil into biodiesel and animal feed. According to their website, "rendering has the same effect on the environment as removing 12,263,316 cars worth of greenhouse gas emissions from the environment each year." Learn more about Baker Commodities here!
- Oxy Dining makes efforts to reduce the amount of disposable packaging used on campus and switch to compostable options wherever possible. To support these efforts, please make sure to sort your waste correctly and use reusable alternatives when you can.
Zero Waste Working Group
In the spring of 2022, a subgroup of the Food Systems Working Group was formed in order to address waste issues on campus. Similarly to the FSWG, the Zero Waste Working Group is a collaboration betwen students, staff, and faculty that discusses issues and proposes solutions to issues regarding solid waste management. If you are a current student, staff member, or faculty member, join the group via this link!
Not sure what bin it's in? Check here: