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SA makes good choice with trayless resolution

By Staff Editorial     2/5/09 6:00pm

As the evidence piles up indicating that the removal of trays will result in lower water bills and electricity costs for Rice's servery system, we have to applaud the Student Association's proposed resolution supporting the measure (see story, page 1). We also greatly appreciate that H&D chose not to exercise its right to act unilaterally in this decision and instead chose to collaborate with the student body.Preliminary test-runs of the trayless program - "Wasteless Wednesdays" at the south servery - have shown upwards of a 30 percent reduction in food waste and an 11 percent reduction in water usage at each meal, and we firmly believe that any type of practical cost reduction is a welcome sign, especially in today's economic climate.

For those who are opposed to the proposal, we urge you to think about the move as H&D's attempt to keep fiscally sound by any means possible other than raising meal prices. With the economic slump and Hurricane Ike both taking a toll on the serveries' coffers this year, H&D has to do something to reduce costs, and we are glad they have taken steps to do that without shifting further financial burden on students.

However, we do wonder whether there is a way to please all students affected by the proposed change. Over the past few years, the serveries have been looking to phase out disposable plates and cups. Rather than removing those items completely, the servery staff recognizes that some students still need them and instead keeps them out of sight, where they can be reached when requested. This has the double benefit of providing disposable items to students who need them while still cutting down on frivolous use, and perhaps the same measure can be adopted with trays.

But all in all, we think think this resolution is a great idea. Wednesday shouldn't have a monopoly on wasteless anymore.

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