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Waste reduction


Food and Dining Services, in partnership with the Office of Sustainability, endorses and supports Gorilla Composting, a student group that promotes organic waste composting at both the institutional and individual levels. In May 2010, Gorilla Composting purchased a Big Hanna T240 industrial bioreactor (composter). The Big Hanna now processes waste generated at dining facilities across McGill University. In fact, the six largest dining locations on campus currently contribute pre-consumer waste to the tune of 200 kg of organic waste per day.

There is currently no industrial compost treatment facility on the island of Montreal.

Please note, February 2013 :

Due to the flood, the Big Hanna has been damaged and is inoperable. Until further notice, the composting of pre-consumed waste from the residential dining halls has been postponed .


Bottled water initiative

With the exception of some mineral waters, MFDS no longer sells bottled water in any of the five Residence Dining Halls. Tap water is available to guests upon request, and guests are encouraged to bring reusable water bottles with them to all dining facilities. In March 2011, MFDS assisted with Bottled Water Free Day, which promoted the use of reusable aluminum water bottles, which are sold at cost to the community at all times.  In recognition of the fact that water fountains are not necessarily proximal to Food Services locations, MFDS is currently working on identifying potential sites for the installation of water fountains/fill stations in collaboration with University Services.


In order to encourage the use of alternatives to take-out containers, and to help reduce the use of paper cups, Food and Dining Services provides every student registered in the Mandatory Meal Plan with an Eco-Kit composed of a reusable MFDS mug and a reusable container called the Eco-Clamshell. The Eco-Clamshell is used by students and then returned to be sanitized in a high heat industrial dishwasher; at the end of the its lifetime, the container is retired to a recycling facility.

At the same time, McGill offers china services in residence dining halls, polystyrene cups have been phased out across campus, and aluminum takeout containers have replaced polystyrene takeout containers when takeout containers are requested over the Eco-Clamshell option. Any takeout container besides the Eco-Clamshell is charged $0.40 at the cash.

MFDS also provides recycled content napkins in all self-operated locations on campus, Bishop Mountain Hall, Douglas Hall, Royal Victoria College, McIntyre Cafe & Burnside Cafe.


During the holiday season, MFDS orders are cut in order to reduce inventory of perishable goods and avoid unnecessary waste. Despite these efforts, a small remainder is inevitable. As such, all leftover perishable goods (dairy products and vegetables) are donated to the Old Brewery Mission at this time. We also donate ingredients to ongoing programs throughout the school year at the Yellow Door in Montreal.