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A national leader

UW Housing & Food Services’ is a national leader among higher education housing and dining operations in sustainability, playing a vital role in the UW’s consistent recognition as one of the most sustainable campuses in the country. As an orgainzation, HFS endeavors to consider every decision from a perspective of sustainability.

Sustainable cutlery


HFS began its sustainability initiatives in 2007 by making all take-out cutlery compostable in all UW Dining locations across campus.


Compostable cold cups

Coke cup

In 2008, we partnered with Coca-Cola to create the first-ever compostable cold beverage cup, a first for Coke, to be used across UW Dining locations and, later, around the world.


Compostable hot cups

Starbucks cup

In 2014 HFS and Starbucks created compostable hot beverage cups, a first for Starbucks, for HFS "Proudly Serving Starbucks" locations on campus. The cup is now also used worldwide.


Compostable straws


HFS partnered with Cell-O-Core and Pactiv to create compostable green straws for Starbucks, another first for Starbucks that also went worldwide.


Solar energy


HFS and UW Solar, a student-led group, installed solar panels on top of Mercer Court Apartments to generate 33,000 kwh of electricity to supplement power needs at the 1,000 resident complex. In subsequent years, HFS and UW Solar installed similarly sized solar panel arrays on top of Alder, Elm and Maple halls.


Sustainable dining

Sustainable dining

UW Dining was recognized nationally as a top performer in the 2017 Sustainable Campus Index report for its performance in waste diversion and sustainable dining practices.


Rain collection


The first large-scale rainwater-capture laundry system in the U.S., using a 125,000 gallon underground cistern, is built under Mercer Court Apartments, providing all of the water for Mercer’s washing machines.