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The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and ARAMARK, the university’s food service provider, are taking steps to reduce the amount of waste that is produced during the Destination ImagiNation Global Finals event on campus this week. ARAMARK plans to serve about 111,000 meals to over 5,400 guests on campus attending the event.

Destination ImagiNation, Inc. is a non-profit organization that provides two educational programs for students to learn and experience creativity, teamwork and problem solving. Global Finals is the culminating event of every Destination ImagiNation season. Each year, hundreds of teams gather at the Global Finals to showcase their Challenge solutions, and the atmosphere is always electric. More than 16,000 people attended Global Finals 2009, which took place in late May at UT.

Waste reduction efforts next week include:

• Trayless Dining – Serving approximately 72,800 trayless meals will save approximately 109,200 gallons of water.

• Reusable Dishware and Compostable Dish and Silverware – Using reusable dishware instead of Styrofoam dishware, which was used last year, will divert 23,000 non-compostable pounds of waste from our landfills. For the outside dining events, ARAMARK will be using a cornstarch based compostable dishware and silverware.

• Reusable Condiment Containers will be used saving 1 metric cube of landfill space this week.

• Composting Coffee Grounds – UT Facilities Services and ARAMARK will compost the used coffee grounds from the Starbucks locations on campus.

• UT Biodiesel Production – Vegetable oil is collected from the Volunteer Dining locations on campus and turned into biodiesel fuel by students for use in UT diesel vehicles. The recycled biodiesel reduces harmful emissions, reduces the use of foreign oil and doesn’t waste the cooking oil.

• Aluminum and Plastic – Facilities Services will be assisting with the recycling of aluminum and plastics used during the event in addition to the compostable products.

For more information, contact UT Facilities Services at 974-7780 or ARAMARK at 974-4111.