Students need not fear -- Dining Services' styrofoam will be politically correct next year. Dining Services will restock dining halls with polystyrene foam products as soon as next semester, Hospitality Services Executive Director Donald Jacobs said yesterday. But Jacobs said that the new styrofoam products will not be hazardous to the environment. They do not contain the ozone-destroying chlorofluorocarbons, typical of many styrofoam products, that have incurred the wrath of environmental groups. He also said the products will be recycled, not stored in a landfill. Styrofoam products were banned from dining halls two years ago in response to student demands, according to Jacobs. He said he anticipates some opposition to reintroducing styrofoam products to the dining halls. "Styrofoam is seen as a no-no," Jacobs said. He said officials may install displays to inform students about environmentally safe styrofoam and its recycling process. And Jacobs added that styrofoam has advantages because it weighs very little and could be used as a source of fuel. Dining Services Director Bill Canney agreed that reintroducing styrofoam products may be difficult because of misperceptions about its environmental effects. "It's an emotional issue," he said. Canney added that details have not been worked out, saying a polystyrene recycling facility may be constructed on campus. And styrofoam will not be the only change in Dining Services. In compliance with recycling laws, dining hall kitchens now separate paper products, aluminum and plastic, according to Jacobs. However, when the Philadelphia Recycling Plant cannot handle such solid waste, the University must transport it to New Jersey, costing $78 per ton, Jacobs said. Jacobs said that one of Dining Services' main targets is "source reduction," in which officials will try to decrease the use of items requiring disposal. "The reason we will do a better job of recycling is because we'll do a better job of source reduction," Jacobs said. He added that Dining Services is "doing all we can physically do" to recycle, adding that dining halls are complying with the law and that he expects the program to improve. Dining Services Director Canney said that although students are participating in the recycling program, he believes the program needs to pick up its pace. "There's more that we have to do," Canney said. "This is just the start of the program." Other changes involve transporting milk in recyclable containers instead of the bags and boxes which wasted cardboard and paper, Canney said. The recycling program has been implemented to varying degrees in all the dining halls for the past few years, according to Canney. Jacobs said Dining Services adopted the measures in anticipation of the recycling laws. Canney also said he is unsure whether recycling demands are more costly to Dining Services, although they do require more time from workers.Comments powered by Disqus
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