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Ozzi machines receive mixed reviews

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Killed the Cat logo$45,000: That’s the amount of money Marquette Student Government spent on Ozzi machines, the new reusable container system for take out food from Marquette Place, Mashuda and Schroeder Hall.

Kevin Gilligan, general manager of Sodexo campus services, said in an email that the Dining Advisory Board has been working with Sodexo on implementing Ozzi for almost three years. After the university received health department approval and secured funding, the Ozzi program was put in place.

“Kyle Whelton, MUSG president, and the advisory board worked hard to get the program launched,” Gilligan said. “We (Sodexo) are so very proud of the partnership we have and the great things we are able to accomplish as a result.”

Each Ozzi machine cost about $26,000, including tokens, some containers, shipping and programming,  all at a discounted rate Gilligan said Sodexo was able to negotiate. The three machines, two in the Alumni Memorial Union and one in Schroeder Hall, were purchased by MUSG and the university. Sodexo purchased additional tokens, 10,000 containers, racks used to dry the containers, and installation of the machines.

Ozzi machines do not simply collect used containers. They have ethernet capability and are able to send a text to a manager when the machine needs to be emptied, but the containers must be hand-washed. The machines also track each container, noting how many times it is used and how many trees have been saved.

Whelton said all aspects of the Ozzi system are university property.

“Every year, Sodexo gets a stipend from the university,” Whelton said. “(This year) it was used to buy the containers and things, so they are university property, not Sodexo’s, and will stay even if Sodexo ever leaves.”

While Gilligan said students have expressed excitement over the Ozzi system because it was a student initiative, some students are finding difficulties with the system, even though the green initiative is a positive outcome.

“I live in Mashuda and just wanted a quick breakfast,” said Elizabeth Coenen, a freshman. “I went to hand them my (reusable) container and they wouldn’t take it because they said I needed the coin. Was I supposed to walk all the way to the AMU?”

“Although it is an inconvenience to have to carry around the bulky containers, I think it is more beneficial for the push towards being more ‘green,’” said Jaelin Lim, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, in an email. “I know I got things in the carry- out containers even though I ended up eating AMU food in the dining area. The inconvenience of the reusable containers forces me to use plates and dinnerware that is meant for eating in.”

Reusable containers also encourage better waste management. Students are now responsible for their own containers, rather than using multiple disposable containers that clog trashcans and dorm rooms.

“I like them,” said Haley Jones, a junior in the College of Business Administration. “They’re easy to use, and cut down on a ton of waste. It’s a bit of an adjustment for anyone who hasn’t had to use them, but once they become the norm, I think they’ll work so much better than the disposable containers.”

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