Sustainability

UW-Milwaukee is committed to sustainability and its practice in our daily operations. Sustainability is the human enterprise of living to meet today’s needs without compromising the needs of future generations; to be ecologically sound, socially just, culturally affirming, politically doable  and economically viable. We demonstrate our commitment to sustainability through such measures as local food purchasing, resource recovery (recycling), composting food wastes, energy reduction and continually exploring ideas to promote and support sustainability initiatives.​

Recycle / Reduce / Reuse / Compost
  • Used cooking oil is collected by SANIMAX to be used in biodiesel creation
  • We recycle computers, cell phones, printer cartridges and metals through the UWM’s sustainability program. We also recycle our cardboard, paper products, plastic, aluminum and tin.
  • All out of date and old restaurant equipment is sold to American Restaurant Equipment, a company that restores and resells the items to other area restaurants to keep them in use longer.
  • All of the disposable paper products are compostable at the residence halls.
  • We compile approximately 2,000-4,000 lbs. of produce/paper waste per week that is utilized at our very own hoop house where we turn the material into compost.
  • Restaurant Operations has discounts in various units for customers that use reusable mugs for coffee or bottles for soda.
  • All RESTOR units offer reusable bags for customers and they can purchase a bag for and get a % discount on their own groceries every time they reuse those bags.
  • We’re now working in collaboration with the Food Recovery Network student chapter here at UWM. For more information, check out the Food Recovery Network website: https://www.foodrecoverynetwork.org/
Procurement & On Campus Gardens
  • Restaurant Operations has a rooftop garden and raised bed gardens that are used in the production of a variety of soups, sauces, vegetables and entrée dishes.
  • UW-Milwaukee Restaurant Operation’s has put a focus on providing affordable and quality driven local products and equipment. Our L.O.C.A.L. (Living, Operating Consuming Acquiring Locally) concept puts an emphasis on utilizing products, services and equipment from our great state of Wisconsin provided that these products are of high quality and economically just.
  • We team up with local companies such as Growing Power, Jones Dairy Farm, Johnsonville, Straus, La Coppa, etc that utilize Wisconsin based products so that we are getting fresh and local foods to support our state’s economy
Education & Safety
  • New eco-friendly dishwasher at Sandburg Cafeteria that uses only 90 gallons of water per hour instead of the 342 gallons the old dishwasher used. When purchasing new equipment we take into account the energy savings of each piece of equipment.
  • We have just purchased and are preparing to implement in fall of 2015 a program called NET NUTRITION which is an online database that will provide our customers with all the nutritional and allergen information that they desire.
  • In all of our residential dining units we use an environmentally safe wash called VeriPure to wash all of our fresh produce. The VeriPure system uses ozone to purify the water and kills 99.9% of bacteria. This system is chemical free and environmentally friendly!
  • We have launched 3 campus RESTOR convenience stores that focus on nutritional alternatives to all convenience store categories with an emphasis on fresh product, made to order, fresh produce, and products that promote cooking in your very own kitchen.  This provides our customers the opportunity to make educated decisions on the well balanced offerings that are available.
  • We work extensively with UWM’s Sustainability coordinator – Kate Nelson. We team up regularly for a wide variety of educational and physical implementations
  • Restaurant Operations is now a member of the Division’s campus green team that has achieved green office certification.  We have also formed a sub-committee with other campus members to focus on the operational green initiatives.
  • Collaboratively, we constructed raised bed gardens & box gardens for faculty, staff and students.
  • We provide data, resources and forms that are used in sustainable recognition programs that help educate and further push staff and students into doing better for recycling, reducing and reusing.
Menus
  • We have implemented “a just in time approach” to our menus where we create our menus focusing on made to order items in every application where possible. In the areas that we need to have a larger volume of food ready, we utilize the batch cooking concept. This type of cooking prepares very small amounts at a time by using specifically designed recipes that focus on quality and consistency.
  • Our menus are open in areas such as “seasonal vegetable” so that we are using all of our harvest from our campus gardens and implement fresh leftovers in a variety of custom applications.
  • We keep records of wasted or spoiled products in every location and review weekly to make sure we are limiting waste in every possible way.
  • Our menus our updated bi-annually so that we are providing our customers with a current, quality, locally and value based menus

 

Resources