By Dale Bell

DHALL—Last week, in a victory for sustainability advocates, Grinnell Administration announced that they would be repurposing the drains at the bottom of the Dhall soda machines as a new “Combo” drink. The decision has been lauded by Grinnell Administration as an “unconventional” and “innovative” solution to food waste concerns raised by the student body. The new system saves a total of seventy-three gallons of various drinks per day for the small price of five million dollars needed to refit the machines, which will be taken out of student wages.

Philbert Moreau, the facilities contractor tasked with upgrading the drink machines, spoke with the B&S about the process in an exclusive interview:

“It was fairly straightforward. We just rerouted all the drains to empty directly into the steam tunnel pipes, where it’s boiled, frozen, sublimated, used as nuclear coolant, and finally a drop of fluoride is added, to make sure it’s safe for human consumption. Then it’s just fed back into the reserves which connect directly to the taps. Easy peasy. Since there’s a limited number of taps, we had to replace that blue Gatorade thing, but it was nasty, so who cares. Anyway, until we get the official branding done the tap label will just be black, which is a pretty good coincidence since that’s usually the color Combo comes out as. Oh, by the way we also fixed the milk machines so you can use the drains there too.”

Student groups are debating the merits of the proposal, with the Environmental Advocacy Alliance releasing a statement saying “We agree with the general idea of the Administration’s initiative, however we feel that funds could be better used in other sustainability initiatives, like raising student wages so that we can have a fully staffed dishroom and not have to resort to disposable plates, or removing the endangered sloth meat from the roller grill.

“I haven’t actually tried it yet,” said Marcus Gardner ‘24 “The consistency just looks all wrong and, I don’t want to cast any aspersions, but I’m pretty sure I saw a beverage worker pour whole containers of the Buffalo hot sauce and the Wisconsin Cheddar soup down the drain. I just don’t know what’s going on in that drink, but it cannot be good.”

Ellen Browder ’22, agrees: “As a chemistry major, I understand the building blocks of existence like no one else can. But when I stuck that stuff under a microscope for my MAP it was unlike anything I’ve ever seen or even learned about before.”

On further investigation it seems that so far no one has been brave enough to get the new drink. In the interest of journalistic integrity and scientific progress the B&S volunteered several interns to try Combo. Results have been varied, with half of the interns immediately falling into a three-day hallucinogenic fugue state, the other half exploding into a murderous rage, and a very small percentage spontaneously bursting into flames.

As of press time, the Administration is looking to capitalize on their creation and is already in contact with the Department of Defense, which has indicated interest in the purchase of Combo along with the Red-Hot Beef as additions to the strategic chemical weapons reserve.