School District Saves Thousands by Ditching Disposable Trays

Providing safe, healthy meals to students has always been the top priority for school foodservice directors. As students continue returning to campus, there are many different ways to approach meal distribution. Disposable products are a tempting quick fix for foodservice directors looking for a sanitary meal distribution solution, however, they are actually very costly and wasteful long-term.

Julia Scarborough, Director of Food Services at Blaine County School District, was spending $900 per month on disposable products for student meals. Not only was the district wasting money, they were consistently contributing more waste to landfills.

“One of the things I’m constantly looking for is a way for us to figure out how to stop using so much [disposable] plastic because we don’t have a recycling program here. Everything goes directly into our Earth,” said Scarborough.

For days, Scarborough searched the internet for reusable compartment trays with lids until she found Cambro’s Separator Compartment Trays.

“The snap lid is so important. Without that snap lid, our Pre-K and first graders would have a horrible time with them,” said Scarborough.

After implementing the Separator Compartment Trays at six schools, Scarborough experienced a significant decrease in both supply and labor costs.

“We are saving about $1,400 a month and we cut labor by 28 percent,” said Scarborough.

Plus, their new trays allowed them to immediately stop throwing away hundreds of trays each day.

When BCSD purchased reusable trays in the past, Scarborough said they couldn’t handle their high heat dishwasher and started warping. She was very happy to find this wasn’t the case with their new Separator Compartment Trays.

 “We have 185°F hot water boosters on all of our dish machines to make sure that we are ultra-sanitized. Plus, we also run the new Ecolab SS in our machines to make sure that there’s no COVID-19 whatsoever, bacteria, salmonella, anything on any of our trays. They have withstood this,” said Scarborough. “We can wash these 10 times in a row, which we did, and they don’t move. They don’t shrink, they don’t warp and they just clip on so perfectly.”

As schools continue to adapt, we work hard to create solutions to suit their everchanging needs. Whether you’re serving meals in the cafeteria, to the classroom or curbside, our reps are able to find a Cambro product to help your schools serve safely and efficiently. Contact your Cambro rep today to get started.


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