“Serving Up Sustainability” with Re:Dish

Re:Dish container

In the weeks leading up to the celebration of Earth Day, we try to find ways to be more sustainable, more green. We have found one way to be good to the Earth right here at Poly and all it takes is tossing food containers in the proper bin.

Beginning on Monday, April 4, Poly is embarking on a partnership with Re:Dish, a service that will help us reduce waste as we replace disposables in our food service with reusable food containers. Sandwiches and salads at the Dyker Heights campus will be served in new reusable Re:Dish containers.

The key to making our Re:Dish sustainability initiative successful will depend on everyone tossing used containers in the marked receptacles.

Chef Lou Rossini
Chef Lou Rossini

With national supply chain issues affecting many aspects of life, Chef Lou Rossini has been impacted as to the availability of compostable food packaging products. “As a result,” Rossini said, “you will notice that some of the items I provide for lunch appear to be in different packaging from week to week, but most often it is plastic. This is why we are moving to a company that has a reusable plastic container, which will not be used and thrown away on a daily basis.”

Re:Dish bin
How Re:Dish Works

After students finish eating their lunch, they will empty the containers and place them in a Re-Dish Drop-Off Bin. The bins are located in Commons and throughout our campus.

Then, Re:Dish collects them, washes, sanitizes, and recirculates the containers. They employ the highest level of protocol for washing, drying, sterilizing, and packing, using eco-friendly detergents and state-of-the-art sanitation. Their containers are sturdy and microwave safe and made in the USA out of NSF-certified, BPA-free polypropylene.

An Easy Way for Students To Make A Difference

We have witnessed the increased waste that comes from using disposable food containers at Poly. With Re:Dish, tossing one’s used food container in a designated bin will make a major contribution to cutting waste on our campus. What’s more, it demonstrates to students Poly’s commitment to sustainability. Re:Dish is favorable to single-use containers after only 10 washes and at 500 uses reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 93.2% and consumes 71.7% less water.

To be successful in this effort, it’s critical that everyone uses these bins for Re:Dish salad and sandwich containers and not toss them in regular trash bins.

“I am thrilled that we are reintegrating important sustainability practices into the Poly community,” said Head of Upper School Sarah Bates. “During COVID, our reliance on plastics and disposable products was necessary, though painful to process with our significant global environmental issues. I am thankful for the leadership Elijah Sivin, Jared Winston, and Lou Rossini have taken to implement the Re:Dish program. We have an incredible opportunity to be leaders in the field of sustainable practices with our food services and I look forward to everyone’s participation.”