Dining Services

image of fresh vegetables

Sustainability at WSU Dining Services 

Dining Services supports Washington State University's sustainability initiative by using locally grown, minimally processed ingredients, selling Fair Trade coffee, and recycling and composting our waste products. Explore the links below to learn more about WSU Dining Services’ sustainable practices and certifications.

Green Restaurant Certification

In 2017, all three of our dining centers, Hillside, Northside and Southside, became Level 1 Certified Green® Restaurants. Read more about Green Restaurant Certification.

Marine Stewardship Council Certification

As of February 2016, we began serving MSC-certified seafood in all three of our dining centers. WSU is the first university in Washington to make this commitment. Read more about MSC Certification.

SPE Certification

In 2015, we obtained a two-star SPE certification for our commitment to using sustainable, nutrient dense ingredients in our meals. SPE, derived from the Latin phrase Sanitas Per Escam (or "Health Through Food"), is a third-party certification program that uses science-based criteria to recognize foodservice operators' commitment to serving nutritious and sustainable food. After gradually improving upon our sourcing and variety of healthy options, we earned a three-star certification in 2018. Read more about SPE Certification.

Local and Sustainable Sourcing

We purchase local ingredients and integrate them into our recipes wherever possible. Our commitment to sustainability began nearly 10 years ago when we started our partnership with Shepherd's Grain Flour & Legumes. Read more about local sourcing.

Composting & Recycling

Dining Services is committed to WSU’s pledge to conserve natural resources and protect the environment through our composting and recycling initiatives. Read more about composting and recycling. 

Food Recovery Partnership

Since March 2017, Dining Services has collaborated with the Whitman County Community Action Center to reduce food waste. With the help of volunteers from WSU's Center for Civic Engagement, food from WSU dining is repackaged into individual portions and made available at the Community Action Center food pantry. In 2017, more than 1,000 lbs of prepared hot food, vegetables, sandwiches, and other food items were recovered and donated. In 2018, 1,675 pounds of food were donated. 

OZZI Reusable Containers

The OZZI reusable container program reduces landfill waste by replacing disposable food containers with reusable ones. Starting as an initiative by the WSU Environmental Club, the program launched at Northside Café in fall 2019. Students use tokens to get a reusable container for their takeout food and return the container to the OZZI machine in exchange for another token. Read more about the OZZI reusable container program.

Hydroponic Basil

All basil served at Southside Café is grown sustainably using hydroponics. WSU Dining Services has partnered with Eggert Family Organic Farm to further our commitment to sustainable farming through this initiative. Read more about hydroponic basil.