Preliminary Clean Plates Data Shows a Continuous Decrease in Food Waste

Fall 2018 brought another successful Clean Plates at State food waste audit to each of the residential dining halls on campus. Throughout the semester, RHS Sustainability visited nine dining halls and had 11,964 patrons participate in the study, with a zero waste rate of 26%.

Overall data from the 2018 program is in the process of being calculated and will be released once it is complete. Data will feature the average food wasted per person overall and at each dining hall; the total amount of food wasted in pounds; and how much money was lost due to food waste. Thus far, it shows that there is a continuous decreasing trend in average food wasted per person since the program launched in 2012.

In 2017, the study ran 34.5 hours and 2,404.31 pounds of post-consumer food waste were measured. When taking the average food waste per patron (3.08 ounces, which is equivalent to one slice of pizza) and multiplying it by the number of people who enter dining halls in one semester, post-consumer food waste of 535,072 pounds was estimated for fall 2017.

Clean Plates at State would not be successful without the efforts of volunteers from around campus, including Human Nutrition and Foods students, RHS Eco-Reps and individuals seeking a more active role in social responsibility. More information on last year’s data will be shared in the near future. If you have any questions, please email