Huskee Cups return to CoGro

CoGro emphasizes importance of sustainability during COVID-19

CoGro is double washing the Huskee Cups to ensure safe use.  
Credit: 
Journal File Photo

Common Ground (CoGro) is relaunching the Cup Swap program with Huskee Cups, starting Oct. 19.

“Since we reopened on June 29, our purchasing manager Christy Scott had been working on a proposal to the Campus Operations Group (COG) for about a month that outlined why we wanted to reintroduce the Huskee Cup program at CoGro and how we were going to do the program safely during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Emily Thompson, CoGro head manager, told The Journal in an interview.

Thompson explained that CoGro’s initial proposal to reinstate the Huskee Cup program was rejected by the University so Queen’s could wait until other businesses in Kingston also reintroduced the program.

“It was a little bit of a struggle to get [the initiative] approved at first, but we heard that Queen’s Hospitality Services received approval [to introduce the program] at the beginning of September, and used that as our cue to resubmit our proposal,” Thompson said. 

READ MORE: Pushing for sustainability, campus coffee shops to launch reusable cup giveaway

Thompson said Molly Urquhart, AMS commissioner of environmental sustainability, presented the proposal, which was approved after implementing feedback suggested by COG. 

“In general, Huskee Cups are always commercially washed and sanitized, which is part of the reason why it is good to join into the program, simply because whoever owns the cup does not have to do the washing [of the cup],” Thompson said. “That’s why the program is so conducive to work in the current environment we are in now.”

Customers who wish to participate in the initiative are required to fill out a contact tracing list at the cash after indicating they'd like their drink made in their Huskee cup. 

Upon finishing their drink, customers are required to drop the Huskee cup off face down in a designated drop-off tray. Staff members will remove full trays while wearing gloves and put the cups through an industrial dishwasher. 

Thompson added that CoGro is currently washing each cup by hand with hot water and soap after the initial sanitation before running them through the dishwasher a second time. 

READ MORE: The Tea Room reopens with mobile order option

Owners of Huskee Cups are required to register their cups through the website to join the program. Once a cup is registered, the owner of the cup is able to make use of the program at participating locations.

“CoGro has really been interested in making sustainability a priority on campus,” Thompson said. “We feel very passionately about [the Huskee Cup program] right now because we know it’s a safe way to use reusable cups, especially during a pandemic [when] most coffee shops are not accepting reusable mugs, this is a way where folks can use them and reduce the use of single-use products while still being safe.”

Queen’s Backing Action on Climate Change (QBACC) is currently sponsoring five Huskee Cups through a raffle to further help promote sustainability on campus. 

“Sustainability is still a huge concern, and even though there’s a global pandemic, we are also in a climate crisis, so those were the things that lead us to really want to restart the program”

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