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Campus Dining introduces new reusable to-go program

Posted by on Friday, August 12, 2022 in Dining, FutureVU, GHG, Waste & Recycling.

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Vanderbilt University is committed to environmental stewardship and natural resource protection. As part of that commitment, Vanderbilt Campus Dining, the university’s nationally-recognized foodservice operator, is proud to launch a reusable container program, designed to significantly reduce the institution’s dependence on disposable to-go containers.

Starting this fall, Vanderbilt Campus Dining is partnering with Fill it Forward to offer reusable to-go containers at all residential dining halls, including Commons, E. Bronson Ingram, Rothschild, and Zeppos.  Each undergraduate student will receive one free container that can be used in all-you-care-to-eat residential dining locations, and can be returned for cleaning and sanitizing.  Using the Fill it Forward app, students can track their return, then scan a new code to rent a new container.

Additional containers will be available for $5 each at dining hall cashier stands.

With the Fill it Forward app, students can rent and return our reusable food containers, while also tracking the impact of their personal reusable bottles. Every scan unlocks a donation and tracks the environmental impact of diverting another single-use item from our landfills and oceans. Watch the How it Works Video.

How do students participate in our Rentals Program? 

First Deposit

  • Download the free Fill it Forward App from the Google Play or Apple Store.
  • Staff will provide a Rental Slip with a unique registration code.  These will be available during the week of August 22 in the Commons Center Atrium or at any residential dining hall cashier stand.


  • Users scan the QR Code on the rental sign at dining hall entrance to ‘check out’ container.
  • Users show the in-app rental checkmark to cashier to validate rental.


  • At the drop-off location, users scan QR Code on the ‘Return Poster’.
  • Next, users scan the QR Code on the ‘Container Tag’.
  • A blue check mark should appear on app indicating successful return.
  • User should drop container into marked Fill it Forward bin.

Future Rentals

  • Use available credit to rent another reusable container.
  • Track your Environmental Footprint (water consumption, waste diverted, emissions saved, and ocean pollution prevented)

Of the new plan, Maria Portelli, senior director for Campus Dining notes, “Launching the Fill it Forward program is a big step forward in our drive to offer sustainable dining at Vanderbilt.  Based on surveys and feedback, our students have long advocated for environmentally-friendly packaging, and we know that Vanderbilt Student Government has expressed particular interest in a reusable to-go system. We’re proud to reduce our environmental footprint, and look forward to more initiatives like this in the coming years.”

Fill it Forward reusable containers can only be returned and checked out at the following locations: Commons, E. Bronson Ingram, Rothschild, and Zeppos Dining Halls.

For students looking for more information about Fill it Forward, visit

For details about Vanderbilt Campus Dining’s sustainability initiatives, visit

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