Eco2Go has seen mixed results with the reusable takeout container program. (Photo/The Daily Barometer)

Following the return of University Housing and Dining’s reusable takeout container program this January after a COVID-19 related hiatus, Eco2Go has seen mixed results.

The program allows students to return clean, empty takeout containers from the dining halls and return them to designated drop-off locations around campus. 

According to Eco2Go Organizer and General Manager at Marketplace West Chris Anderson, he has seen initial success with the program’s re-implementation. 

“So far we are seeing a lot of returns both through the collection bins on the ground floor of each residence hall and through the many exterior locations,” Anderson said. “Due to some adjustments with our collection process, we are attempting to improve the employee experience of processing these containers by facilitating returns within 12-24 hours to prevent the buildup of odors.”

While the program has been popular since its reinstatement, Anderson has received complaints that containers have been improperly disposed of or left on top of garbage bins. Anderson acknowledged these grievances and explained how he plans on addressing this problem.

“UHDS has partnered with individual building managers to customize signage, or troubleshoot common collection area processes with our standing exterior collection site process,” Anderson said. “Many groups help facilitate peer-to-peer education to positively reinforce how containers can be easily returned to nearby or convenient return locations facilitating their reuse.”

Anderson recommended that students familiarize themselves with the Eco2Go drop-off locations to avoid this issue. 

“Containers can be returned at any dining center, the designated bins on the ground floor of every residence hall, or at the exterior return locations throughout campus,” Anderson said.

A full list and map of locations can be found on the program’s website

Overall, Anderson wants students to know the potential impact they have by participating in the Eco2Go program, which reduced UHDS’s contribution to landfills by 60 tons in its first year.

“Each reuse helps keep food service costs lower, contributes to student employment, and lessens our collective impact to the landfill,” Anderson said. “We ask students for their help in creating a more sustainable, cost-effective, and nationally-unique program to be successful. After all, Beavers build better environments. It’s what we do!”

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Haley Stark, Orange Media Network

Haley Stark is a news reporter for The Daily Barometer at Oregon State University.