At the beginning of the school year, Wellesley’s dining halls began offering reusable to-go containers to students, faculty and staff. The to-go containers, manufactured by OZZI, were made available after student requests for a sustainable to-go option.
For many students, these to-go containers offer a way to obtain meals from the dining hall on busier days.
“I work at the library right around lunch time, and I can’t bring food into the library, so I just get the OZZI box,” Hannah Williams ’26 said. “I eat outside the library [before] my shift, and then I return the box after my shift.”
The new program is a welcome change for many current students who appreciate the additional option for to-go meals. While dining halls have had to-go containers and silverware, they were made of single-use plastic or paper, were not available in the beginning of the year and were provided somewhat sporadically.
“It’s really useful because my meals are ‘to-go’ all the time if I need them to be,” Arianna Groover-Landis ’25 said. “That resource is always there versus last year, where we weren’t allowed to bring our own dishes into the dining halls, obviously because of COVID-19, and they weren’t providing to-go containers all the time.”
In an email to The News, Resident Director of Dining Services Julie Jordan wrote that Wellesley Fresh decided to introduce the OZZI system after working with the Office of Sustainability and the Dining Service Advisory Board for about nine months. They chose OZZI’s program after contacting other universities and introduced a pilot program over the summer to test the system.
However, the sustainability of the OZZI box system relies on the cooperation of students.
“It’s a good step toward sustainability, but I do think that students need to use the Ozzi box more than they use disposable items for there to be an actual impact,” Williams said. “But I think it’s a good introduction for students to start using reusable stuff.”
In addition, the to-go boxes are meant to help students who need to take food to-go between their classes or for late at night.
Students may pick up their initial containers at the cashier at the Bae Pao Lu Chow dining hall. Faculty and staff may purchase an initial container for five dollars. After use, a container should be wiped out and deposited in a return bin in Lulu, Bates or Tower, from where a token will be dispensed. These return bins scan a barcode sticker on the bottom of the container; the stickers should not be removed.
To get a new container, people may then give that coin to any member of dining staff at Bates or Tower, or to the cashier at Lulu. OZZI containers should not be used at Stone-Davis as the dining hall must remain kosher.
“Please use the OZZI container as opposed to removing dishes from the culinary centers,” Jordan wrote. “The dishware has the tendency to accumulate in the Residence Halls, creating additional work for our dining and custodial staff.”
Overall, student responses to the OZZI box program have been generally positive.
“This is a really great addition to the dining halls,” Groover-Landis said.