Diners in the Rayburn House Office Building cafeteria can be on the lookout for metal spoons and ceramic mugs over the next couple of weeks, according to a House Administration Committee spokeswoman.
After doing away with the House composting program last month, Chairman Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) directed the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer to start looking into a pilot program to phase reusable dinnerware into the House cafeterias, Lungren spokeswoman Salley Wood said.
“We recognize there needs to be an alternative to composting,” Wood said. “We also recognize that the alternative needs to be more cost efficient.”
The program should cost a few thousand dollars, she said, which will come out of the CAO’s budget. The forks, knives and spoons will resemble the metal tableware used in the Dirksen Senate Office Building cafeteria.
The program is starting in Rayburn because the cafeteria there already has a dish drop-off station and is equipped with a dishwasher.
It could spread to other cafeterias if the program is successful, but the committee will be looking to see whether diners take the silverware out of the cafeteria and don’t return it.
“It’s not going to be efficient if you have to go out and purchase these things,” Wood said.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.