Reusable Containers

This free borrow and return program for reusable containers is available at Northside Café! This program helps support our sustainability efforts and reduces waste from our dining center by using only reusable containers for to-go orders. 

A person opening their reusable container at a table.

How to get started:

  1. Find Washington State University on the ReusePass website and sign up.
  2. Receive your own personal ReusePass QR code. (Pro tip: add your ReusePass to your Apple Wallet or screenshot for easy access)
  3. Visit Northside Café and scan your pass to check-out a reusable container.

You will have 3 days to return your container at your convenience.

How to return your container(s):

  1. Remove any remaining food scraps.
  2. Place empty container into return bin at Northside Café.

That's it! After you return your container our dining team scans, washes, and sanitizes your container so it can be used again and again. Then, your account will update to reflect your return within 24-48 hours. 


FAQ's

Joining the reusable container program

  • How does the ReusePass program work and how do I join?

    Students, staff, and faculty can participate in WSU’s Reuse program. The program makes checking out a reusable container a lot like checking out a library book!

    To participate, visit ReusePass.com and find Washington State University in the campus list, enter your phone number and follow the signup steps. Before using ReusePass, you’ll be asked to acknowledge the terms and conditions of the program.

    Once you’ve signed up, you’ll be given a personal QR code - save it to your Applewallet or screenshot for easy access! Then you’re ready to start reusing! Simply present your QR code at participating locations and you’ll be given a reusable container for your meal.

    Drop your reusable container in a return bin on campus within 3 days so that it can be scanned back in, washed, sanitized and used again - it’s that simple!

  • What is ReusePass and how do I access my account?

    ReusePass is a web application that helps you track and manage which reusable containers you need to return. When you sign up for the program, a ReusePass account will be created for you. Your ReusePass account shows your reusables activity, participating locations and return bin locations. You can access your account at any time by going to app.reusepass.com/wsu and logging in using the mobile number you used during signup.

  • I have an international phone number, can I still participate in the ReusePass program?

    We don’t currently support international phone numbers, but don’t worry, you can still participate in the ReusePass program! Sign up for Google Voice and get a free phone number - you can use this phone number to opt-into the ReusePass program. Your ReusePass account is associated with a phone number, which means phone numbers cannot be shared across ReusePass accounts.

  • Am I required to use the reusable containers?

    Reusable containers are required for the Big Cat Grille and other food to-go at Northside Café. 

Returning Containers

  • Where and how do I return my container?

    Returning containers is easy! Simply compost remaining food scraps in the food waste bins then drop your empty container in one of the return bins on campus.

    During regular business hours you can return them to the dish return carousel. 

    After regular business hours there is a return bin available in the lobby just outside of Northside Café. 

  • When do I need to return my container by?

    Containers are due back 3 days after checkout. Containers that have not been returned by the end of the 3-day checkout window will be marked as late. ReusePass will send you reminders when you have late containers to return them. Once a container is late, you have 48 hours to return it. Containers that are not received by the end of the late window are liable for a $8 fee.

  • How long does it take for my container to show as received after I’ve dropped it in a return bin?

    Containers are typically scanned by the dining team within 24hrs of drop-off, but it can sometimes take longer. If you’ve dropped your container(s) in a return bin before the due date, don’t worry, you’ve done your part! Once your container is scanned in by the dining team, it will appear as received in your account.

  • How long can I keep a container before I’m charged a fee?

    You have a 3-day window to return your container exclusive of the day you checked it out. If you don’t return your container in that time frame, you’ll get a reminder text that your container is late and you should return it within 48hrs. If your container is not returned 5 days after checkout, your account is subject to a $8 fee.

  • Why is there a fee at all?

    The fee exists to encourage Reusers to return their containers in a timely fashion, so they can get washed and reused. This fee does go towards WSU's Sustainability Green Fund to support other sustainability initiatives on campus. 

  • Can I still return my container after it’s been marked as unreturned?

    Yes! Even if you haven’t returned your container within the checkout or late period, we still want your container back so it can go back into the reuse ecosystem.

  • Does my container need to be empty and washed before I drop it in the return box?

    We ask that you empty the container of any food scraps but it doesn’t need to be washed!

  • Are containers microwave safe?

    The containers used in WSU’s ReusePass program are microwavable up to 1 minute.

  • What happens if I lose or damage a container?

    If a container is lost, damaged beyond repair, or not returned within the late period, it will be marked as unreturned in your account. Feel free to text us at 509-286-2207 for assistance.

Sustainability Impact and Additional Information