Hamilton Dining Services is committed to providing a dining program that integrates the concept of sustainability into all operations. From sourcing to production, packaging to waste management, and transparent communication, our team works to better sustainable initiatives at Hamilton.

Local, Sustainable, and Humane Sourcing

Hamilton uses purchasing policies that focus on local sourcing and sustainable products. Dining services will aim to dedicate at least 20% of the food budget to foods grown within 200 miles of Hamilton College, and plan to increase local food purchasing over time. The following are examples of local partnerships and humane sourcing practices: 

  • Know Your Source Program: A purchasing philosophy that seeks to partner with
    • FarmSource Partners: grow, raise, or catch;  produce, dairy, eggs, seafood, and meat. They allow us to serve the freshest and highest quality products to our guests.
    • Forged Partners: are family and independently owned artisan makers. They allow us to introduce our guests to creative, unique, and exciting products.

  • Cage Free Eggs: Both shell and liquid are used in dining halls around campus. 

    • We do not purchase chicken products that are sub-therapeutically treated with antibiotics. (See Sustainability and Animal Welfare for more information)

  • Sustainable Fisheries: We rely on 3rd party organizations to assist us with making sustainable seafood choices, such as MSC (Marine Stewardship Council, BAP (Best Aquaponic Practices) and the ASC (Aquaponic Stewardship Council).

  • Plant Based Menus: Vegan entree selections are offered at all meals

Sustainable Packaging and Materials

It is our preference to purchase post-consumer recycled or bio-based products, carbon neutral products, and those products that may otherwise minimize negative environmental impacts. In partnership with Parkhurst Dining, Hamilton supports the use of eco-friendly packaging and materials, such as, 

  • Green-to-Go Containers: We offer our guests reusable take out containers at locations that have dishwashers to reduce waste going to the landfill.
  • Napkins: Our napkins are made from 100% recycled paper content
  • Beverages: Recyclable plastic beverage bottles and aluminum cans
  • Reusable Glassware and China at Mcewen and Commons Dining Facilities 

Food Salvage, Waste Reduction & Energy Conservation

  • The Sustainability Office plans to help the development of clear/consistent waste sorting signage at each dining location.
  • The Sustainability Office, in collaboration with Parkhurst Dining, will coordinate an effective food salvage program during the 2023-2024 academic year that will include Rescue Mission Utica, Hope House, and Mother Marianne’s West Side Kitchen.
  • Hamilton reports food salvage and waste metrics each calendar year, aligning with NYS reporting regulations. 
  • Hamilton aims to test pilot a Liquid Biodigestion model at specified kitchen/dining areas, which breaks down food waste on site to keep food out of the landfill. 
  • All fryer oil in dining locations is recycled. 




Contact Name

Brian Hansen

Director of Environmental Protection, Safety and Sustainability

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