Waste Minimization



A whopping 30-40% of the waste UNCW Campus Dining produces is compostable. We are committed to doing our part to Wipe Out Waste. Scraps from preparation and leftovers from your meals at Wagoner Dining Hall and The Shore are diverted from the New Hanover County landfill and turned into nutrient rich compost. 


UNCW Campus Dining along with the university partnered with New Hanover County Environmental Management to pilot the first organics waste diversion program in the region in November 2017!


2017: 6.35 tons

2018: 61.9 tons

2019: 75.78 tons

2020: 31.13 tons

(current through 10/2020)



Additionally, scraps from preparation also known as pre-consumer waste at Dub’s Cafe are turned into a nitrogen rich composting additive utilizing an EcoVim food waste dehydrator. 


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Weigh the Waste

During the school year, Campus Dining along with UNCW Sustainability partner to "Weigh the Waste" at Wagoner Dining Hall, Dub's Café, and The Shore. This not only is an incredible waste awareness education opportunity, but also allows Dining to focus on sustainability with portion size, disposables utilized, etc. 

Usually, Weigh the Waste events occur on a monthly basis.


Gold Talon Events

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When planning an on campus event, you can keep  sustainability in mind by making your event Gold Talon. UNCW Sustainability and Campus Dining can help you plan an event that is environmentally, socially and fiscally conscious.


Below are just a few examples of the sustainable options the Campus Dining Catering program has implemented:

  • Local, seasonal and Fair Trade options are utilized wherever possible

  • Organic waste is always composted when prepping meals

  • Reusable platters and trays replaced single-use items

  • Paper bags replaced non-recyclable boxes

In order to incorporate any of the catering credits,

you simply request what you would like in the notes

on your catering order.

For more information about planning a Gold Talon event, visit the UNCW Sustainability website and download the event checklist.

UNCW Recycling


When possible we work with community partners through the Food Donation Connection to donate surplus

pre and post consumer food.

Partners include, but are not limited to:

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Single Use Plastic Reduction

As a coastal university, we recognize the value and importance of protecting our most precious natural resources and to this end, UNCW Campus Dining and Aramark as a corporation have been embarking on a commitment to protect our oceans by significantly reducing single-use disposable plastics across all food service operations where possible. This includes straws, cutlery, bags, and various other packaging materials. Unfortunately there are some cases where a viable alternative to a single use plastic has been yet been identified, but please know that we are continuously making strides to solve these issues as materials technologies advance.


Skip the Straw

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Plastic straws and stirrers have been phased out at the Hawk’s Nest, Wagoner Dining Hall, and Dub’s Café.

Plastic straws and stirrers are being phased out of other locations as able. This commitment by Aramark will result in nearly 100 million fewer straws being used annual in the U.S. This is enough to stretch halfway around the world if placed end to end.


Students, faculty, and staff can purchase Dining straw kits in our POD market locations to encourage students to further reduce their consumption of disposable straws.

Ocean Friendly Establishments


Cut out Cutlery

UNCW Campus Dining partners with UNCW Recycling to divert valuable recyclables from the landfill. Find out more about what is recyclable on campus here.

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Wagoner Dining Hall, The Shore, Dub's Cafe, and the Hawk's Nest are all 5-star Ocean Friendly establishments as certified by Plastic Ocean Project and Surfrider. These locations offer paper straws as well as take additional measures such as offering vegan and vegetarian options.

Fryer Oil Recycling

100% of the fryer oil used on campus is recycled into biodiesel and animal feed through the services of Mahoney Environmental and FiltaFry. 


Look for this option when ordering from the Grubhub app: