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Students dine on Styrofoam until Kennedy’s dishwasher repaired

By Nikki Baldwin
On March 31, 2016

Styrofoam dishes, cups and plastic utensils in
Kennedy Hall trash containers.

Photo Credit: Nikki Baldwin 

   Since the dishwasher in Kennedy Dining Hall broke late February, Winston-Salem State students have had the “luxury” of eating their meals on Styrofoam plates, drinking their beverages out of Styrofoam cups and eating with plastic utensils. 

   “The Champion brand dishwasher is 25 years old and to get the machine fixed would cost over $100,000 to $150,000,” said Lakeith Stevenson, general manager of food services.

   The dishwasher caught fire. “Insurance would cover the repairs since it was an electrical issue.”

   Curtis Dod, a dishwasher, said it has been hard working without the machine. He said it has been tedious for him be cause he has to clean pots and pans and throw away all the plates, cups and utensils.

   “It has been terrible having to wash [pots and pans] by hand, since I have to take items back to the pot room to wash them,” he said.

   Laverne Tart, Dining Hall supervisor, said it’s been a different experience without the dishwasher.

   “Normally, waiting on the belt to load has made the wait time for students to receive clean utensils a little long.

   Now the wait time is shorter for the students to get their food, because they don’t have to wait on dishes.”

   Without the dishwasher, the staff in cafeteria have had to assume different duties and some of their hours have been cut.

   Tart said, “The team have been separated because they have had to take on different roles.”

   She said after the machine is repaired, the dishwashing team will unite again.

   Dod said his work hours have been cut.

   Some students, like Ashley George, don’t seem to mind the temporary “eating” situation in the dining hall.

   George, a sophomore social work major from Greensboro, said eating off the Styrofoam plates and using the plastic utensils is more convenient and not as messy as using regular plates and silverware.

   Deandria Lewis, a senior English major from Raleigh, said Styrofoam is easier to carry and more convenient than regular plates and glasses.

   “You can throw it [Styrofoam] away, and you don’t have to worry about carrying all these plates at one time.”

   Stevenson said he expects the dishwashing machine to be repaired by the end of this semester. “So there is a great possibility the students can go back to eating off of silverware.”

Editor’s Notes: Styrofoam is recyclable. It’s not biodegradable, to turn it into something recyclable, options include grinding it up and mixing it with something, (like cement or soil); or melting it and make something out of it. The chemicals are toxic, so it takes more equipment and money to recycle than to toss into a land fill.

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