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Sustainability FAQ

Are reusable boxes available for to-go at the dining halls?

Yes! Meal plan holders are eligible to check out up to two containers at a time for free. If you do not have a meal plan, or have already checked out two boxes, you can purchase a box for $3.50. These to-go boxes are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized after each use to ensure the risk of germs and cross contamination are mitigated.

Learn more here!


Can I bring my reusable mug or cup to dining locations?

Yes! We encourage you to bring your reusable mug or cup to the dining halls; this is the main form of taking a drink to go as we continue to move to a more sustainable campus. We also offer beverage discounts in select locations to incentivize the use of reusable bottles and mugs over single use cups.  

CDS bottles and mugs are available for purchase, which are eligible for $0.25 off of refills at Lenoir Mainstreet, The Beach Café, Rams Market, Cafe McColl, Blue Ram, Café Converge, and Atrium Café.

Alpine Deli and Alpine Bagel offers 20% off fountain beverages and 10% off self-serve coffee with any reusable drink container.    

Port City Java offers $0.25 discount for coffee refills with Port City Java or CDS cups (up to 16 ounces).  

Click here to learn more!

Does using a reusable to-go container in the dining halls use a second meal swipe?

No! We scan twice to mark that you’ve checked out a container, but if you are filling up your to-go container and taking your food outside of the dining hall, you only use one meal swipe.  

However, if you choose to eat in the dining hall and would like to take leftovers or additional food to-go, you will need to use a second meal swipe. 

Learn more here!

Can I bring my own Tupperware to the dining halls?

No, you cannot bring your own food storage containers to the dining halls due to food safety protocol. We offer reusable to-go containers which are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized after each use to ensure the risk of germs and cross contamination are mitigated. 

More information can be found here!

How does CDS address challenges around food waste?

We compost trim waste in our kitchens, as well as all the leftover food that is returned to the dish belt in the dining halls. We also donate surplus prepared food from Lenoir Mainstreet to the Inter-Faith Council weekly in partnership with the Food Recovery Network. 

Source reduction is the best way to prevent food waste; we track food production every meal period to better forecast future purchasing. Our Pick Your Portion program encourages students to request the portion size that best fits their needs. By offering half portions at select dining hall stations, we can reduce the chance for leftover food being sent to the dish return. 

Click here to learn more about our waste reduction efforts!

How do I properly compost and recycle on campus?

We offer front-of-house compost and recycling bins in Chase, Lenoir Mainstreet, Beach Cafe, and the Student Union. There are also compost bins outside of most residence halls, and recycling bins can be found in all campus buildings! For more information on where to find bins, check out the Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling’s website. 

You can compost all food waste, napkins, green straws, BPI-certified compostable packaging, PLA #7 bioplastics (like our EcoProduct cups), and wooden utensils/chopsticks.  

You can recycle plastic bottles, metal cans, glass jars, paper, and cardboard on campus. Make sure to keep cups out of the recycling bins! 

When in doubt, throw it out! 

For more information on how to sort waste, click here!