Pomona College is in its third week under a revamped system for reusable takeout containers. The college’s dining services began distributing the brand new containers Friday, Sept. 10.
Dining services provided free containers to Pomona students by crediting all student accounts, except those of students who received a reusable container last year but did not return it at the end of the school year.
The new containers are significantly larger than those issued to students at the beginning of the 2009-10 academic year, the first year that Pomona distributed reusable takeout containers.
The new containers are also identical to those issued by the other four Claremont colleges. This allows students from all five colleges to take out food from the other consortium dining halls without having to purchase a disposable to-go box.
This year, students will continue to be able to return used containers to the dining halls in exchange for clean ones. However, beginning this semester, students can also simply return their used containers and have the credit restored to their accounts, so they can take out new containers free of charge at a later date.
This credit system is called a “clamshell exchange account,” said Associate Dean of Campus Life Frank Bedoya, who added that the program has been running very smoothly so far.
Many students agreed.
“I think the new system’s fantastic,” said Max Grodnick PO ’13, adding that he is ecstatic that he can now take out from Collins on Taquera Tuesdays. “The new system is a vast improvement over last year.”
Bedoya noted that some students have complained about not receiving credit for returning used containers.
“We’ve heard from maybe a handful of people who said, ‘I turned [my container] in, but the cashier’s saying I don’t have credit.’” However, he added that this was happening “very rarely.”
Pomona was the first of the 5Cs to institute reusable takeout containers. The other schools soon followed suit, but they all issued a larger, compartmentalized container. Pomona had considered this option initially but decided to go with the smaller, less expensive model. In order to synchronize its system with that of the other four colleges, Pomona chose to upgrade to the larger model this year.
“Because [our container] was different, some of the other colleges were saying that we couldn’t exchange and use this on their campus,” Bedoya said.
Pomona students can purchase replacements for lost containers for $5.00 at any of Pomona’s dining halls.