From The New York Times: Scores of colleges and universities across the nation are shelving dining hall trays in hopes of conserving water, cutting food waste, softening the ambience and saving money.FROM FEBRUARY 2008: A universal fixture is disappearing from residence hall dining halls: the tray. College cafeterias nationwide are going to trayless dining in an effort to reduce waste. The rationale is that students won't load up on large portions in all-you-can-eat settings if they can't stack their dishes on a tray. San Diego State University took away trays in its main student dining hall last fall –- saving more than 11 tons of food. Next month, the University of San Diego plans to go trayless on Fridays. Cafeterias in at least a dozen other colleges around the country, including New York's Skidmore College and San Francisco State University, have jettisoned trays.
FROM JULY 2008: With rising food and fuel prices, colleges and universities in Ohio, including Case Western Reserve University, Hiram College, John Carroll University, and Oberlin College are following a national trend to reduce food waste and energy by removing cafeteria trays or discouraging their use. Without trays, the logic goes, students won't feel the need to pick up food they don't really want. Instead of leaving a half-eaten pudding and an untouched serving of green beans, students will get only the food they are likely to finish. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)