In the Fall of 2008 St. Mary's Dining Hall, on West Campus, eliminated trays from the dining room. At the time, tray-less dining was a new but fast spreading sustainability initiative at many colleges and universities around the country. Tray-less dining was well received in St. Mary's and in January of 2009 Tray-less dining was expanded to include all three resident dining halls on Villanova's campus.
Among the greatest benefits of implementing trayless dining is a reduction in the quantity of wasted food and beverages. Additionally, far less water and chemicals are used without the need to wash trays, and the amount of pre- and post-consumer compost that goes into the sanitary sewer system or is removed to an off-campus composting site will also decline. Beyond the ‘green’ benefits of wasting less food is the opportunity for the University to offset rising food costs.