Kinsolving Dining implements new pilot dish sorting system

Jennifer Xia

Kinsolving Dining is testing a new dish sorting system this semester to speed up dishwashing and create a better work enviornment for the dining staff in all-you-can-eat dining halls.

University Housing and Dining placed a photograph beside the dining’s hall conveyor belt system, where students place their dirty dishes, indicating what should be placed on each carousel level. The signs encourage patrons to separate their plates, glasses and utensils from one another.

Rene Rodriguez, UHD director of dining, said they hope to gauge responses from the students and dining staff about the new system’s effectiveness and how well patrons comply.

“We got the idea from the University of Michigan,” Rodriguez said. “We’re looking to see if students will actually participate because it would help in the back of the house.”

Based on how the pilot period goes, Rodriguez said the sorting system may also be implemented at Jester 2nd Floor Dining.

“We’re not trying to change any major habits, but if students start reading and doing it, then we feel it’s a win for all of us,” Rodriguez said

Rodriguez said while UHD is trying to take pressure off its employees, they do not want to make dining more demanding for students.

“We’re not trying to force the students to do something different,” Rodriguez said. “We understand students are busy, so we thought we’d try it out first at Kinsolving and go from there.”

Ashwin Devaraj, computer science and math junior, said it may be hard for students to adjust to the new system.

“Convenience and laziness prevent students from following the system,” Devaraj said. “They don’t really care about what goes on the other side and just want to get out.”

Biomedical engineering freshman Elise Easton said she was not aware the new sorting system existed but acknowledges the benefits of the new sorting system.

“Sorting would make it more effective,” Easton said. “I actually worked in the kitchen this past summer for a camp so I’ve been on the other side, and it’s nice when it’s sorted.”

Rodriguez said after the semester-long tryout period, UHD will determine which sorting system is faster.

“Once we get those numbers together and see that it does work, it could save us a lot,” Rodriguez said. “But it’s hard to see if it helps because (compliance is) so inconsistent right now.”