Zero Waste at the Wildcat Welcome BBQ

On Saturday, August 26th UNH Hospitality Services hosted our first event of the 2017–18 school year. The Wildcat Welcome BBQ on Scott Hall Lawn drew in over 4,500 new and returning Wildcats.

We pinpointed this event to be the perfect place to implement our Zero-Waste initiative. To create zero-waste at an event of this size required multiple tactics to be combined. We were able to purchase compostable napkins, plates, and bowls from Greenwave.

Compostable cutlery came from World Centric.

Reusable servingware such as tongs, spoons, platters, and salad bowls were used on the main line to serve dinner. Cold items such as potato and pasta salad were prepared prior to the event in our Dining Hall kitchen. Hot items such as the chicken, hamburgers, and veggie burgers were grilled on-site in a condensed period; conserving energy and cooking food on an as-needed basis to reduce waste. Condiments were provided in bulk making it easier for guests to take the right amount they wanted, reducing food waste and eliminating packaging waste from small condiment packages.

Recycle and compost stations were placed all around the perimeter of the venue space, making it impossible for it to be an inconvenience for guests to separate their waste.

With the help of our amazing Hospitality Services staff, we were able to separate compost, recycle, and waste to ensure all bags were being brought to the appropriate facilities.

We were excited to see how many students took the time to make sure their waste was being put into the correct containers. Students and staff alike were happy to participate in and learn about our efforts. The Wildcat Welcome BBQ was just the first of many Zero-Waste events to come from UNH.