DDS plans free refills starting Fall term

by Brad Russo | 8/11/99 5:00am

After a trial run last month in the Courtyard Caf, Dartmouth Dining Services is now prepared to offer free soda refills in all but one of its dining halls starting this Fall term.

While final details of the plan still need to be worked out, Director of Dining Services Tucker Rossiter said yesterday every undergraduate dining hall except Lone Pine Tavern will most likely be offering unlimited free refills next term.

Unlike the one-week trial run in which diners used receipts or tokens to redeem one refill, Rossiter said it now appears the permanent refill offer will likely be for patrons who have a reusable mug such as the "Dartmouth Recycles" mug.

"That way we support two things," Rossiter said. "We help the environment and we help ourselves by not having to wash our own mugs."

While he said DDS will most likely lose money under the new system, that will be partially offset by the savings in plastic cup and glass cup replacement costs.

"There's going to be a revenue loss, but I think we can offset that somewhat through the recycling mug."

Customers will not be limited to only one free refill unlike the trial run, but still need to purchase a soda for each meal period before getting the free refill.

The system will work on an honor principle, and people getting just refills will not need to wait in line at the checkout registers. The offer will still be limited exclusively to soda.

During the trial run, the Hopkins Center dining hall sold approximately 1,500 sodas and registered about 600 refills.

"This is what students asked for and we think it would be helpful," Rossiter said. "It doesn't matter if it's us or Burger King -- we just hope to keep our business up."

The free refill effort was initially a Student Assembly project. Assembly member Jon Friedman '02 approached DDS about the idea last Spring term.

Advertise your student group in The Dartmouth for free!