On Jan. 16, the Green Fund-sponsored O2GO was installed at Northern Arizona University—the only university in the state to implement the reusable container program.
Each year, NAU accounts for more than 942 tons of recycled waste, with even more going to the landfill. This program, which allows students to purchase, return and reuse containers, hopes to eliminate a lot of that waste.
“So far, the program has been a hit,” said Green Fund co-chair Genevieve Conley. “As of Jan. 23, 435 containers had been used by students!”
For a one-time fee of $5, students may purchase an O2GO container from several dining locations on campus including Star Ginger, Turnip the Greens, Cobrizo’s, G’s NY Style Deli and Denny’s. Meals are then packaged in the containers for students to eat on site or take to-go. After the container is empty, it can be returned to the OZZI machine in the University Union. In exchange, a gold token will be dispensed that may be redeemed for reusable containers, again and again, providing students a convenient and sustainable way to make a positive impact on the environment without the hassle of having to wash their dishes.
“Not only is NAU the first university in Arizona to implement reusable containers in dining facilities, but also it is the largest university that OZZI has ever partnered with,” Conley said. “By participating in the program, you are supporting sustainability on campus as well as helping NAU become a sustainability leader, both nationally and locally.”
The OZZI system installed in Union Point will act as a pilot to gauge students’ interest in the program. Should it continue to be a success, future OZZI locations could include the du Bois Center on south campus, with the possibility of a similar system being installed for reusable coffee cups at various Starbucks on campus.
“With these new additions, NAU could have a waste-free dining program in its near future!”