ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (December 7, 2015) – Don’t throw away that food container! Recycle, and make a difference in the world.
Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH) is taking one big green step by introducing technology that could eliminate hundreds of thousands of food containers
that fill garbage cans each year in the hospital cafeteria and eventually make their way to landfills.
NCH, in partnership with its contracted food service provider, Sodexo, is the first hospital in the nation to introduce OZZI, a system designed to eliminate disposable waste by collecting reusable to-go containers in the
cafeteria. NCH estimates that collecting reusable containers in the OZZI high-tech vending machine will eliminate more than 300,000 throw-away containers –
or 100 miles of containers stacked from end to end.
“NCH is moving from a disposable to a reusable campus by using OZZI,” says Michael Hartke, chief operating officer at NCH. “We are reducing our carbon
footprint by cutting down the amount of waste we haul to the local landfill. NCH is building a more sustainable future.”
Employees eating at the hospital cafeteria can participate by making a $5 deposit for their OZZI to-go container. When done with the meal, OZZI users
deposit the dirty container in a high-tech vending machine, which spits out a token that employees can use for a new replacement container the next time
they order takeout food. Containers are collected 24 hours a day. Once cleaned and properly sanitized, each container can be reused more than 300 times.
The OZZI machine holds about 125 dirty containers. The machine stacks and stores the containers, and automatically sends a text message to the food service
manager on duty when it is 75 percent full, so the containers can be removed from the machine and washed.
The OZZI system was developed by a Rhode Island-based company, OZZI Enterprises, to eliminate disposable waste by changing the throw-away mindset to a
reusable way of thinking. OZZI is designed for college campus dining centers, hotels, sports venues, and food courts. Colleges that have recently installed
OZZI include Tulane University, the University of Maryland and Pepperdine University.