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Posted on Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 5:59 a.m.

University of Michigan ditches trays in most dining halls

By Kellie Woodhouse


Say goodbye to trays at University of Michigan dining halls, including the newly renovated East Quad dining hall pictured here. The school is getting rid of trays in an effort to reduce food waste.

Melanie Maxwell |

After two years of dipping its toe in the water, University of Michigan is going headfirst into the realm of trayless dining.

Starting this fall semester, the school's Ann Arbor campus is getting rid of the trays students use to haul their food from serving areas to seating areas. Eliminating trays, officials say, will reduce waste by making it inconvenient for students to plate large amounts of food and by eliminating the water and energy used to wash the trays after use.

"With a tray, students are more inclined to take more food than they might actually consume," said Christine Siegel, associate director of University Housing. "What we hope to find is that students will be more thoughtful about their choices" if they don't use trays.

Of the eight operational U-M dining halls (South Quad is closed due to renovations), seven will go trayless when students move in at the end of August. U-M is considering upgrading the conveyor belt used for dirty dishes in the Bursley Dining Hall on North Campus and making it trayless as well. With the existing facility, dishes could get caught in the conveyer belt.

U-M this year has a capacity to seat roughly 2,775 in its dining halls at once. Bursley can seat 629 diners.

The school predicts going trayless will facilitate a 5 percent cost savings due to less food consumption, meaning university housing could save $400,000.

A study on trayless dining conducted by an American University professor in 2012 surveyed 360 diners over a six-day period and found a 32 percent reduction and food waste and 27 percent reduction in dish use when trays were unavailable.

The school piloted trayless dining in its Betsy Barbour and Oxford dining halls in 2011 and 2012 and agreed in 2011 to make all renovated dining halls trayless. The school has since expanded its efforts and decided to introduce trayless dining at all dining halls where it was logistically possible, including the newly renovated East Quad dining hall.

"We felt that we might as well apply this wherever we can, wherever it's feasible," said University Housing communications director Peter Logan. "Whether they were renovated or not."

U-M is not alone. In fact, it's kind of late to the game. Hundreds of schools across the nation have eliminated trays in their dining halls, including local schools like Eastern Michigan University. Schools began switching as early as the mid-2000s.

"We've been concerned about the impact on the student experience. We were making a judgement about whether the inconvenience to students was worth it," Siegel said.

Although a group of environmentally-minded students pushed for U-M to toss its trays, a number of students surveyed did express concern over the inconvenience of not having a carrying mechanism for food in the dining halls. During recent new student orientation, some students filled out comment cards asking a straightforward question: "Where are the trays?"

University Housing, however, is waiting for students to return to campus and try out the new dining method before gauging feedback. According to Logan, the school purposefully waited until the beginning of a new school year to implement the change, instead of breaking up routine mid-year.

So, what happened to all the old trays?

U-M hasn't gotten rid of them yet.

"We're going to store them for a while until we make sure we're not going to back out of this," Siegel said.

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.



Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 5:09 p.m.

Somebody dropped a plate in the dining hall today, after the shattering crash was over there was a chorus of 'TRAYS, TRAYS, TRAYS" all around the dining room.

Jaime Magiera

Wed, Aug 28, 2013 : 10:05 p.m.

Being the future leaders of the free world, I'm sure they'll learn to cope with carrying plates to a table.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 11:08 a.m.

For the "This is news?" crowd: It was picked up by the Detroit TV stations as well. They mentioned that some dining halls had stopped using them last year.

Kellie Woodhouse

Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 2:47 p.m.

Thanks for letting me know. Looks like they used the AP version of my article.

Danielle Tyree

Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 9:44 a.m.

While this may be a logical choice for conservation, my initial thought was, that really sucks if you for whatever reason don't have ability to use both hands to carry things... For instance, you walk with a cane, or are on crutches because you've sprained your ankle, broke a toe or something like that...

Kellie Woodhouse

Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 2:47 p.m.

Students with disabilities will be provided trays, I was told by Peter Logan.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 6:45 a.m.

What will they use for sleds this winter?


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 9:34 p.m.

But then how will students go "traying" in the Arb?


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 9:19 p.m.

Why don't these educators go directly to mind control so they get the little zombies they want without the fuss.


Wed, Aug 28, 2013 : 2:39 p.m.

Cafeteria trays to mind control. You should be an Olympic long-jump champ with leaps like that.

Robert E.

Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 7:32 p.m.

Good old vultures ready to pounce whenever they read something that even mildly annoys them...if you dont like the story, dont read it...although I find it odd that people get so bent out of shape over something they feel is not newsworthy, and them take the time and effort to actually comment on it...bizarre behavior...


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 7:40 p.m.

Most of which are probably neither students nor even parents of students. Just people with an instinct that says, "wait, something is changing? give me a second and I'll find out why this is a terrible idea, because I'm sure it must be".


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 7:22 p.m.

What a move

Kellie Woodhouse

Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 6:29 p.m.

Something interesting to note here is that a group of students pushed for this initiative and U-M Housing was at first hesitant to go forward with it, in part because it did not want the change to negatively affect the student experience.

Lizzy Alfs

Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 12:07 a.m.

When I was a UM student, I honestly think this would have been a good thing for me..aside from what UM is projecting will be a cost savings, having no tray honestly will cut down on unnecessary food in your mouth! People don't need to load their trays up with dessert, cereal, entrees, bread etc etc. The fewer items the better, IMO. And then you can go back for more if you're hungry! Plus, you get exercise walking around the cafeteria. :)


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 6:40 p.m.

A2 runs story about UM spending money = "UM SPEND TOO MUCH MONEY!!!" comment deluge A2 runs story about UM trying to save money and resources = "OMG SO STINGY, STOP FORING YOUR SOCIAL ENGINEERING ON US!!!" comment deluge. *cues "Circle of Life" from Lion King*


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 6:22 p.m.

I don't have a problem with this as a story. Sometimes, the story just looks like a press release redone to appear to be reporting. Maybe some took this to be like that. But, it's not. UM lists its press releases. This is a human interest story and it will impact many who will soon come to the UM so it is timely as well. Further, it's not like the UM will starve its students. They are just implementing some changes to try to improve sustainability and, thereby, reduce costs. When things are done on a large scale, small changes can have a large total effect. I'd suggest looking at this link: That said, I would like it if Kellie could follow up sometime--maybe in 6-12 mos--and see if the U-M can demonstrate that the cost savings offset room/board fees and other student expenses.

Nicholas Urfe

Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 6:17 p.m.

Good thing my Trapper Keeper has a built in cafeteria tray!


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 6:34 p.m.

#NostalgiaPoints Well-played, sir.


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 6 p.m.

Good job, commenters! Anytime you can make the author of a news article complain on you on Twitter, you must be doing something right! another #ManicMonday . #UMich dining going #trayless , commenters going crannnnkky!

Kellie Woodhouse

Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 6:25 p.m.

In that case I am going to apply that logic in reverse;) All of you can follow me!


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 5:46 p.m.

As part of my job, I get to eat daily in the UM dining halls. Not only did they take away the tray, but the food is being served pre-plated in smaller portions and held on a steamer tray for you to take. It's a HOT plate! So now there's no tray, a hot plate, smaller portions. I think just one of these would have been a great start to reducing food costs, but all three together is tough for the kids (and us employees) to manage. People are dropping and breaking plates, there's bigger messes on the tables, and people aren't cleaning up all of their plates when they are in a rush to leave. No one I know, except the budget managers, are in favor of this new plan.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 2:09 p.m.

Thanks for the counterpoint. I liked the story, but there was no interview with a user, I guess because school hasn't started yet. Sounds like they have some things to work out.


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 4:46 p.m.

Well there's a newsworthy story for ya! Here's another: KFC will no longer include sporks with it's 3 piece chicken meal.

Paula Gardner

Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 6:34 p.m.

Nice try, but it's still the most-read story of the day on

Kellie Woodhouse

Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 6:27 p.m.

Hmm. Not exactly the news tip I was looking for...


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 4:21 p.m.

Gimme a break. Have none of the students ever been through a buffet before? Just put your phone/ipad.... away for 5 minutes and get your food.


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 5:54 p.m.

I am wondering how many of these comments are actually from the students. Probably very few. I would be interested to see what actual dorm-residing students would have to say about this around the first of October, after they have actually done it on a routine basis. It just seems generally easier to complain about something new that you don't have any actual experience with (or praise; but on here mostly complain).


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 4:03 p.m.

I foresee that the University will be sued by a starving student with a physical disability.


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 7:24 p.m.

can't wait

Kellie Woodhouse

Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 5:32 p.m.

In all seriousness, I was told that trays will be made available to students with disabilities.


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 4:02 p.m.

Should we educate our students not wasting their food instead of doing the trayless? Falling on the floor in a dining hall is not only making the kids embarrassed, but also a safety concern.


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 3:43 p.m.

1) Will students be arrested if they bring their own trey? 2) How much will it cost to clean up all the messes from food dropped? 3) Clearly U-M has way too many administrators who are trying to justify their existence.


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 6:32 p.m.

"Will students be arrested if they bring their own trey?" I hope not. I'm planning on bringing my Trey Parker. He loves caf food.

Jaime Magiera

Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 2:33 p.m.

Also, I appreciate Ms. Woodhouse's articles on the changing university environment. These things effect the health and well-being of the students, staff and faculty, and by extension, our greater community. (Also, kudos to Ms. Gardner for handling the trolls ;)

Jim Osborn

Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 3:07 p.m.

I found the article interesting! She did a good job. I'm also glad that the University of California system did not use this system when I was an undergraduate. What wastes food was the lack of microwave ovens to heat up lukewarm food at UCSD, UCLA did have them. Another wasteful thing was how they cooked a large amount of veggies and then they sat for far too long and were soggy. One bite and they were tossed. The biggest waste that I ever saw was several trash barrels full of baked potatoes. The school had prime rib and placed sour cream next to a mayo and horseradish mixture. When I sat down, my friends said "there is something wrong with the potatoes" I figured out that it was horseradish.

Jaime Magiera

Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 2:28 p.m.

I'd imagine cleaning those trays takes a substantial amount of water. As such, this move is good for the environment. In terms of consumption, it seems like a good idea to encourage the students to think about what they are attempting to eat. Prevents waste and discourages unhealthy gorging. If the research shows removing trays is an effective means to do these things, sounds like a positive situation all the way around.


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 2:21 p.m.

I hear that plates can, in a pinch, be used for sledding as well...


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 2:13 p.m.

My first thought was "what were they thinking?". But after reading the article I can see that this does make sense.


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 2:11 p.m.

I worked on a college campus (in California) this summer going through a similar transition. At first I was really annoyed, as it made carrying plates harder. But within a week I preferred the new system and indeed felt that it cut down on waste. This is a well-written and thoughtful article, and I'd be really curious to read a follow-up. As Jan asks below, how does UM intend to pass on the savings to the students, or do they not? I'd be curious, as well, what students think about it. Finally, what will happen to the old trays, and do they have to alter their cleaning stations at all?


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 6:58 p.m.

Regarding your question of how/if the University will pass on these savings to students: they, of course, will not. Regarding what will happen to the existing trays...Good question. I'm still wondering, myself, what happened with all of the ash trays that existed before the smoking ban...

Kellie Woodhouse

Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 2:11 p.m.

To all of you wondering why this is a story: News is a pretty fluid thing. Some news has more impact, or wider impact, or sexier impact than other news. When I think about covering things I ask myself: does it affect the community, even a small number of people? Would someone benefit from knowing? Is it interesting? If you want to discuss more what is and isn't news, feel free to email me. I always appreciate receiving readers perspectives on this. Also, from here on out if anyone else is going to ask "Why is this news?!" —which is totally fine, ask away— do me a favor and also send me an idea you have of coverage. My email is


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 3:05 a.m.

I found it to be interesting. I have kids in college elsewhere and now I'm wondering if they still use trays at those colleges! Every newspaper has stories about everyday things going on in the community. I think that the silly advice columns in newspapers, including the Detroit Free Press, are ridiculous but I don't think they are going anywhere!

Boo Radley

Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 5:18 p.m.

This is the best thing about an online news source. There is room for all kinds of stories like this that will appeal to some, and not others. These are stories that generally would never make the cut to get into the limited space of a print edition. If the article did not have any impact, it would have a couple of comments, not 75 and counting.


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 4:44 p.m.

Don't let it get to you Kellie. 90% of what is in the "paper" or whatever falls into this category.


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 2:06 p.m.

I'm really not happy or amused by this. These are growing kids and I don't think their intake should be limited to a plate. If they have to go back for seconds now, do they have to pay again? With sons who had bottomless pits instead of stomachs and grew several inches when they were in college, I was always assured that if we bought the meal plan, we knew they were getting what they needed nutritionally. What about the athletes? Do they have separate dining halls and are they going tray-less too? Or are the university's elite not subjected to this cost-saving?


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 2:34 p.m.

Think it through... If they were only served a limited amount, then it would be irrelevant whether or not they had a tray. But they don't serve a limited amount, it is all-you-can-eat. One of the points of not having trays is so they don't stock up with 6 or 7 plates of food at once, then find out the proverbial 'Eyes hungrier than the stomach' thing.


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 2:33 p.m.

Nothing's stopping them from putting a plate full of food at their table and then going back to get a new plate, as far as the article indicates. In most dining halls, you pay a flat fee when you enter, and then you can get as much or as little as you want. This includes seconds, thirds, desserts, whatever.


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 2:02 p.m.

Jeff Vader will be most displeased.


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 6:27 p.m.

Props for the Eddie Izzard ref.

Nick Danger

Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 1:57 p.m.

Who Cares. Is this the best you can do for news


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 6:26 p.m.

You are welcome to go make some better news yourself for them to cover. I would personally prefer it be the "good news" variety rather than the "bad news" kind. Your call though.

Paula Gardner

Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 2:51 p.m.

Steve Bean: I realize trolling is a sport, but some days ...

Steve Bean

Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 2:16 p.m.

Sick 'im, Paula! (I like the feisty Paula.)


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 1:41 p.m.

It sounds like $400,000 of inconvenience to students who've already paid big bucks to be there. Will the savings be passed down to them? Joke.


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 3:01 p.m.

Kellie Sorry I miss-spelled your name earlier.


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 2:56 p.m.

Link to UM meal plans info: For dorm meal options, click the 'read more' button by: Residence Hall & Northwood III Residents For non-dorm meal options, click the 'read more' button by: Meal Plans for other Northwood and Off-Campus Residents


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 2:25 p.m.

Kelli Although you cannot get a room without paying 'board' (meal plan), technically they are billed separately. Students have several different options for their meal plan at varying costs. Also, students who don't live in dorms can purchase meal plans separately. This might be very convenient for those that live a little farther off-campus with a short break for lunch. They can slip into any UM dorm cafeteria for an easy (although relatively pricey) all-you-can-eat lunch as the main meal of the day; saving time at night from cooking / cleaning up from a 'big' meal.

Kellie Woodhouse

Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 1:54 p.m.

U-M lumps its housing and dining rates together. The rates increased 2.5 percent this year. Four-fifths of the money raised from that increase will go toward funding the school's string of dorm renovations. A double room with a 150 block meal plan costs $9,996.


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 1:32 p.m.

This is newsworthy?


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 2:29 p.m.

My thoughts exactly Tizz. I have for many years written that journalism is dead. Typically the headline story is the most newsworthy and hear it is about how they run the cafeterias in dorms.

Paula Gardner

Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 2:08 p.m.

Thanks, Mark. I agree. Part of our job is to tell the story of how the student experience is changing at UM. This is one slice of that.


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 1:47 p.m.

I found it interesting. I'm glad it was posted. Judging by the ups/downs on the comments here, many others feel the same way.


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 1:03 p.m.

Wow ... 565 words (plus a photo and caption) to tell us that U-M dining halls are ditching trays.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 1:47 p.m.

Next time, leave out the nouns to make it a more challenging read.


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 6:25 p.m.

Perhaps a tray-related haiku?

Paula Gardner

Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 1:29 p.m.

Thanks for going to the trouble. Let us know how many words you think would be appropriate. Or should we assume zero?


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 1:27 p.m.

Copy and paste into Word and it does it for you.

Paula Gardner

Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 1:26 p.m.

Did you count that yourself?


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 1:18 p.m.

For someone who comments here a lot, you sure don't seem to have much of a grasp of what the comments section is for.

Nicholas Urfe

Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 1:10 p.m.

Wow... 19 words to complain about a story you need not have opened, let alone read.


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 12:59 p.m.

"Eliminating trays, officials say, will reduce waste by making it inconvenient for students to plate large amounts of food" This is wrong on so many levels....the reasons being offered up for this do NOT stand up to scrutiny...


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 7:35 p.m.

Do you care to elaborate on any of the levels upon which this is wrong?


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 12:44 p.m.

I see a business opportunity - cafeteria Sherpas to carry your food to your table.

Boo Radley

Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 12:39 p.m.

Whenever I eat at a restaurant with an all-you-can-eat buffet, I never get a tray ... Hasn't ever seemed to stop me from overeating though. I still think this is a positive change, though. Less money spent replacing lost/stolen/destroyed trays, less time and energy costs spent on washing them, etc. If it also saves on food waste, even better.


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 2:17 p.m.

Billy Apparently it has been a while since you checked. It is all-you can eat and has been for a while. Different food is served at different stations (grill - pasta - deli - salad - desert - etc) and students go to whatever stations they want as much as they want.

Boo Radley

Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 1:23 p.m.

Billy, I was just going by the looks of the set up in the photo above. It appeared to be an "all you can eat" type of buffet. And, when my daughter attended Northern Michigan, the cafeteria was all you can eat.


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 1:04 p.m.

Last I checked the food wasn't "all-you-can-eat" in the dorm cafeterias...

Nicholas Urfe

Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 12:35 p.m.

Belushi called. There will be an emergency Toga to protest this absurd action.

Nicholas Urfe

Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 12:33 p.m.

How do you carry silverware, a drink and a plate? Add a bag or some other object to this. Oh right - it isn't intended to be easy. It is supposed to be difficult to discourage eating.

Hugh Giariola

Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 8:06 p.m.

My thoughts exactly.

Jake C

Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 6:50 p.m.

Backpack goes on your back, or over your shoulder. Silverware goes on one plate, which goes in one hand. Drink goes in other hand. If you need a 2nd plate of food, set the first batch of food down at a table, and walk 15 seconds back up to the food stations and get some more. I lived in the U of M dorms not that long ago, and remember frequently putting far more food than I needed onto a tray, and basically wasting it because I wasn't thinking about stuff like "sustainability" at 8 AM, I just felt like I might want to eat some eggs, and ooh some bacon too, why not some toast and bagels and juice and pancakes and ice cream while we're at it?


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 12:33 p.m.

Who cares? What are you the Daily?! Get a real job!

Paula Gardner

Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 1:02 p.m.

Simmer down, it's OK to be civil even when you don't like a story.

Geoff Larcom

Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 12:07 p.m.

As the story notes, Eastern Michigan University has been trayless for a number of years. Dining services made the move for the environmental reasons cited above.

Hugh Giariola

Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 11:58 a.m.

So, a student with a backpack full of books who wants an entree plus a salad bowl and maybe a glass of something to drink must become a balancing act just so they don't take more food?? By this logic, silverware should be eliminated too.


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 2:56 p.m.

Backpack on the back, silverware in the pocket, some practice in the cocktail party skill of holding a drink and a plate in one hand and so you still have the other hand free for your iPhone. Next question?


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 12:13 p.m.

Yep, either that, or they could WEAR the backpack. or maybe set it down at a table with their friends. or figure out something. They are the leaders and best, after all. Maybe they could just forgo the meal and go protest corporate greed or excess?

Jack Gladney

Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 12:11 p.m.

It's like they are saying, "Kids shouldn't be eating at all because they are too much of a bother." Fine! I'll just go eat chips and cookies in my dorm room. That'll teach you guys! *Dorm room door slams* And... scene!

Jack Gladney

Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 11:48 a.m.

Someone really scooped the Michigan Daily on this story. *High five* Caught 'em sleeping at their keyboards again.

Paula Gardner

Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 12:14 p.m.

Kellie gets a high-five no matter what the Daily does. They do good work; so does she.

Jack Gladney

Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 12:05 p.m.

Now my phone is ringing off the hook... The Michigan Daily was NOT scooped. They reported news of the trayless revolution over ten days ago, but it was almost a footnote to their story on the opening of East Quad. So Kellie still gets the high five for the in-depth reporting on cafeteria trays. Take that, haters.


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 11:46 a.m.

Now the tables are messy!


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 6:13 p.m.

Can only imagine what their rooms look like if they can't even clean up after eating.


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 2:46 p.m.

Are you kidding? These kids do not acknowledge cleanliness or responsibility to "pick up after yourself". Trays or no trays, the tables will always be messy and disgusting.


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 11:43 a.m.

Good grief Charlie Brown! Is it really impossible to report anything positive - educational institution implements dining feature that will reduce food waste and energy expense - without getting bombarded with ridiculous slams? I mean, really?

Hazen P'Angree

Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 12:49 p.m.

Welcome to, anonymous. Go figure!

Paula Gardner

Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 12:48 p.m.

We hope so ... eventually!


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 11:27 a.m.

They're selling trays at Property Dispo for $1 a pop. I saw a whole pallet of them for sale last week.


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 11:35 p.m.

Will students be able to buy trays and then bring their own trays to dinner? Getting rid of trays will be worst for students who spread out their food by eating a main course and salad for dinner and want to save dessert or apple to eat later? This reminds me of why I don't go to "all you can eat" places. At a regular place, I can take part of my dinner home, something not possible at "all you can eat places."


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 6:35 p.m.

Anyone know what the price-per-sq-ft is on this. I need to shingle my roof.


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 1:02 p.m.

Man....dispo stopped having good prices over a decade ago....they started to raise them I think when craigslist showed up and they felt they could "compete" with them or something. Those trays should be sold at dispo for cents or in packs of 5 for a buck.

Roger Rayle

Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 11:37 a.m.

The trays would be good storing boots and shoes in entryways/mud rooms.

Jon Saalberg

Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 11:10 a.m.

The real reason is to prevent students from taking the classic school souvenir, the cafeteria tray. Also, to keep students from sledding down hill on those dangerous little rectangles.


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 10:27 a.m.

Great idea. Not only Wasted food , but Overeating three items on plate is Plenty.


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 10:20 a.m.

Meals cost upwards of twelve dollars for one dinner when I went to school in 2005 for the record.


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 10:19 a.m.

What will students use to go "traying" (using a tray as a tiny sled) down the snow-covered hills of the arb in the winter?


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 12:29 p.m.

This is truly, the end of an era...

Kerry Fingerle

Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 12:44 p.m.

Bursley still has them!

Roger Rayle

Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 11:30 a.m.

That was my first reaction to the story, too!. Maybe instead of disposing of the old trays, U-M could brand and sell them to alumni at homecoming, etc. (U-M missed similar opportunities when it threw away the old blue with maize numbers fiberglass stadium seat tops during various remodeling projects... my nephew rescued some of them from a trash bin to make into benches when he was here in the 90's).


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 10:18 a.m.

It also saves money/environment if you stab students every time they eat food. They think more carefully about what they really need.

Ryan J. Stanton

Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 3:48 p.m.

How would you propose the university begin to implement this? Would there be a six-month pilot program after which the results would be carefully analyzed?


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 10:08 a.m.

Yeah, well good luck with that!