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Fisher Takes the Lead on Eco-Friendly Dining

January 17, 2019

St. John Fisher College has introduced a new machine to help reduce the environmental footprint left by students, faculty, and staff.

A student returns a used takeout container to the OZZI machine.

Meet OZZI, the newest addition to Fisher Dining Services. The idea for the machine came from students who wanted to reduce the amount of waste in both food and takeout containers. Fisher Dining Services listened to their requests, and this semester, introduced OZZI, which acts as a storage bin for plastic, reusable takeout containers.

So how does it work? Students pick up a container from the dining hall, and a barcode on the bottom is scanned, linking it to their meal plan account. After finishing their meal, students then swipe their ID card on the machine and deposit their container. When the machine fills up, an employee empties the bin and washes the returned containers.

Each container can be used up to 300 times each. The plastic also acts as a more effective sealant for storing food in a refrigerator. Other colleges have similar machines, but Fisher is the first-ever to have a student ID activation.

No meal plan? No problem! Commuters, faculty, and staff are also encouraged to use the machine. There is a $5 deposit to receive a takeout container. That deposit remains on an account until the container is returned.

Julia Greene ’18, a recent alumna and current post-grad sustainability intern, has been helping students learn how to use OZZI.

“This machine shows that Fisher really cares about its impact. It puts us ahead of a lot of other schools,” Greene said. She hopes the machines will help reduce the “out of sight out of mind” mentality when throwing items in the trash.

According to Andrea Maccarone, director of food services, before OZZI, the College community used up to 475 paper containers each day, all of which were thrown in the trash. = Those paper containers, she added, have been removed from the College with no plans to return.

As for the future, Greene said the Center for Sustainability has upcoming ideas and renovations in the works, including a sustainability campaign, “Living Eco at Fisher,” or “LE@F.” Through these efforts, she hopes Fisher will to continue to strive for a more eco-friendly campus.