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Students accustomed to stacking their trays on the cart at the Sharpe Refectory were greeted with a new trayless system this semester. Diners now have the option to forgo trays altogether and place their used silverware and dishes in marked blue bins around the Ratty.

Ann Hoffman, Dining Services' director of administration, wrote in an e-mail to The Herald that the trayless system may be only temporary.

"We are currently doing trayless in the (main dining room) on a trial basis and are evaluating it, continually looking at what works, what doesn't work, and how to make it more efficient," she wrote.

But Ratty trays are probably still here to stay. "I don't know if we will ever be able to transition to a totally trayless system, which would be difficult because of the way the Refectory is currently laid out, but we will advance the initiative as much as is operationally feasible," Hoffman wrote.

In 2008, trayless dining was introduced at the Verney-Woolley Dining Hall to reduce wasted food and water.  Hoffman wrote that Dining Services has been interested in expanding the trayless program and had heard there was interest in trayless dining at the Ratty.

Many students have responded well to the new initiative. "I do it sometimes. It's not that much more of an inconvenience," said Hector Ramirez '12. "It's a small price to pay for the sake of the environment."



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