UW-Milwaukee is committed to sustainability and its practice in our daily operations. Sustainability is living to meet today’s needs without compromising the needs of future generations; to be ecologically sound, socially just, culturally affirming, politically doable & economically viable. Learn how we demonstrate our commitment to sustainability:
- Used cooking oil is collected by RTI to be used in biodiesel and animal feedstock 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- All out of date and old restaurant equipment is sold to American Restaurant Equipment, a company that restores and resells the items to other area restaurants to keep them in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.
- We work in collaboration with the Food Recovery Network student chapter here at UWM to fight food waste & hunger by donating perishable food that would otherwise go to waste.
- All of the disposable paper products are compostable at the residence halls & composted through Compost Crusaders
- We compile approximately 2,000-4,000 lbs. of produce/paper waste per week that is utilized at our very own hoop house greenhouse where we turn the material into compost.
- 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.
- With a total of over 900 square feet of gardens on the rooftop of Sandburg, raised bed gardens, & Hoop House, produce is used in the production of a variety of soups, sauces, vegetables and entrée dishes at every café across campus.
- The green roof also helps with storm water run offs, aids in energy costs and helps with air and water purification.
- An assortment of vegetables, spices, & herbs ranging from garlic, potatoes, salad, asparagus, and more are grown in our gardens!
- 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.
- 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.
- In all 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!
- Net Nutrition, which is an online database that will provide our customers with all the nutritional and allergen information that they desire.
- 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.
- Collaboratively, we constructed raised bed gardens & box gardens for faculty, staff and students.
- Learn-Earn-Grow is a program for Milwaukee high schoolers to prepare for success in higher education & valuable life skills through urban agriculture entrepreneurship in our UWM gardens.
Sustainability Education & Growth
- 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.
- 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 also formed a sub-committee with other campus members to focus on the operational green initiatives.
- 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.
Seasonal Veggies/ Reducing Waste
- 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.