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UC Merced

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Preserve the culture of take out while drastically reducing disposable take out waste.

The program has overall reduced the frequency at which dining hall trash cans need to be emptied, and thus far has saved 3.5 tons of disposable waste from entering landfills since its implementation in 2012.


UC Merced has implemented a reusable container check-out program for the dining commons and campus cafes and is now only providing disposables containers for takeout meals for a fee. Merced has installed OZZI machines on campus that automatically collect reusable take out containers after they have been used by students and faculty. The machines read student and employee ID cards upon checkout and return to track and record the containers as they are used and returned. Students who return the containers within 24-72 hours receive a token to use at the purchase of their next meal.

Start Date:
August 2012, with more machines arriving July 15, 2013.