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A Culture of Care

Read Smith’s plans for the fall 2021 semester.
Current Operating Mode: GREEN

Waste Reduction

In addition to buying local and sustainable foods, Dining Services is committed to reducing food waste and has implemented several successful initiatives.

Dining Room Swipes

A pilot is being run during fall 2019 with the goal of increasing the number of students who swipe to eat at Smith dining rooms. Students voluntarily swipe their OneCards at the entryway to each dining room. The system logs the number of swipes, generating data that gets used to order food. However, this system has fallen out of use. As a result, dining staff have limited data about the quantity of food they should be ordering and preparing at any meal given meal. While some kitchens can reliably predict what to order and prepare, large amounts of food still gets wasted, both from student waste and prepared food that goes uneaten.

Swiping at every meal helps dining staff plan, but it also benefits students. Popular meals, as measured with OneCard data, will stay on the menu for the coming semester. Preventing food waste saves water and lowers our carbon footprint, and a reduction in over-ordering will save Smith money as well.

Your swipe is sustainable. | Your swipe is your vote. 
Your swipe keeps us accountable. 

Reusable To-Go Containers: Grab & Go 2.0

In the fall of 2017 Smith Dining Services introduced Grab & Go 2.0, a reusable container program. Students on the meal plan receive a token that can be exchanged at any dining hall for a container. The containers are microwaveable, leak-resistant and durable. When finished with the container, students return it to one of three machines on campus for a new token. Eat. Return. Repeat.

Grab and Go 2.0 makes dining on the go convenient and sustainable. One reusable container can prevent almost 80 kilograms of CO2 emissions compared to single-use compostable containers, according to a report from the University of California. Smith College will no longer offer single-use paper products in the dining halls in the spirit of a greener campus.

Learn more about how the Grab & Go program works:

Food Recovery Network

The Food Recovery Network is a student-led organization designed to implement real-world solutions for eliminating food waste and providing food to those in need.

Phood LLC

Phood is a software program that is designed to help foodservice professionals track and manage their food waste. By collecting valuable data, the Phood software provides actionable insights on how, where and when food waste can be reduced. Smith has begun a pilot program.


Dining Services works with Bridgemont Farm in Westhampton, Massachusetts, to process all of our organic waste into rich compost.


We contract with Republic to recycle our glass, metal, plastic, paper and cardboard.

The Food Recovery Network at Smith