The OZZI Machine will allow the switch from disposables to reusables starting next semester at North End Dining at Marist College.
“OZZI is a revolutionary system that eliminates traditional disposable take-out containers for all segments of the foodservice industry by utilizing enhanced technology,” said Tom Wright, the president of OZZI. “OZZI is designed for college and university campus dining centers.”
When a student orders food, the student gives the cashier a ‘token’ in exchange for the reusable, OZZI container that their food will be served in. Upon completion of the student’s meal, they bring the container to the OZZI machine located in the North End Dining facility which scans the container and spits out a token to be used for the student’s next meal. Once the machine is at capacity for containers it can hold, it will alert the staff who will then collect, clean and restock.
“As a college campus with on-going sustainability initiatives, we hope to engage the entirety of the student body and staff members to value and pursue their environmental responsibilities,” said Steve Sansola, director of student affairs at Marist.
Marist College students are estimated to waste 142 pounds of food each year. Beyond the issue of food sitting in the landfill, it is also sitting in plastic containers that can take up to 1,000 years to decompose. From noodle bowls to salads, everything is served in a single-use, disposable container at North End Dining. The OZZI machine will take these away and replace them with reusable containers.
“The impact of that waste is not often considered and therefore we do not even reach the point of thinking about how we can reduce it. That waste is taking up valuable space when stored in a landfill, polluting our air when incinerated, and negatively impacting our environment in all cases,” said Aaron Tod, a Marist College senior initiating the input of OZZI.
With the support of the Campus Sustainability Advisory Committee (CSAC) on campus and the Marist College Dining Services, the machine is set to be installed this coming June.
“This system pushes students to be aware of and accountable for the amount of waste they are producing and therefore make a personal decision to reduce that by using an OZZI container,” said Kate Cole, Sodexo marketing coordinator.
Whether students will use the machine will be determined next semester.
“I don’t see why everything needs to be on plastic plates and bowls. Most people stay and eat in the North End, so they could just have metal forks and everything else,” said Becci Casas, a Marist College student.
Due to the lack of dishwashing space in the back and students’ tendencies to steal the dishes, this is not possible. The accountability aspect of OZZI with the tokens will help solve the issue of theft.
“North End Dining serves a few thousand meals per week; if everyone were willing to do their part and choose to have their food come in a reusable container, as a Marist community, we could make a significant difference,” said Phoebe Smith, Sodexo sustainability intern.
Sodexo, Marist students, and CSAC are excited about OZZI’s potential to reduce waste on campus while positively impacting the environment.