There is a growing interest in doing several native plantings at specific buildings and undeveloped areas around campus. However, there is no real information on the soil at these locations. This project is looking to provide the data needed to successfully and efficiently manage these planting projects. Several students will take soil core samples from each site and provide the samples to a commercial lab. The data will all be analyzed in comparable manner by the same lab. The project team will take 170 samples/subsamples with an 8” soil probe from these sites. The project team, Facilities and Services, and interested faculty and students will select these sites. The goal is to have an initial database of certain buildings and sites with usable soil sampling data: pH, fertility, and basic grain size. The analysis of the samples can be complete within two months of sampling.
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Projects Updates for Student Sustainability Committee (SSC)
- Associated Project(s):
The Sonified Sustainability Festival provides a new way for sustainability to intersect with campus – through the arts. The 2016 Sonified Sustainability Festival, funded in part by SSC, was developed as a 2016 Earth Week kick-off event focusing on sustainable practices in the arts featuring live music, interactive art making, and information fair to provide greater visibility of local projects, programs and organizations working towards a sustainable future. National and local musicians performing on original instruments made from recycled and repurposed materials were showcased at the Earth Week event, as well as two prior events at the Krannert Art Museum
The goals and outcomes of the next year of the festival will be similar, while expanding on the successes of the past. The events will encompass a series of music and arts programs spanning the 2016-17 academic year. The culmination is an Earth week event at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts that features a mix of live music, art making and information fair promoting campus-based and local organizations engaged with sustainability projects.Attached Files:
One of the strategies outlined in the Illinois Climate Action Plan is a significant increase in the amount of solar energy on campus, which would include rooftop panels as part of the plan. Toward that end, SSC is funding an 11-kilowatt array on the roof of the Speech and Hearing Building. This specific location was selected due to its viability, visibility, and location near the heart of campus.Attached Files:
This project creates an aquaponics system that will work as a demonstrative unit on campus to spread sustainability awareness and illustrate the effectiveness of aquaponics in a small area. The goal of aquaponics is to create a closed ecosystem in which both plants and fish benefit and grow. Aquaponics has the potential to produce large quantities of both vegetables and fish with minimal inputs and nearly no negative outputs. The project teams’s desire is to establish a base system from which the possibility to expand exists. This project is student led and contain an educational element on aquaponics. This proposal is linked with the student sustainability course GCL 127.
This project allows campus to process wheat and oats grown on several of the UIUC campus farms into a finished flour product that will be utilized in the UIUC Campus Dining Halls. There are currently ~20 acres of ground planted in wheat/oats on the Urbana campus as part of large breeding program, and many more acres available off of the direct Urbana campus. Additionally, the University has significant acreage on campus that could be converted to grain production if needed.
Each acre of wheat produces 40-80 bushels of grain (2400-4800 lbs) depending on variety, producing up to ~4000 typical loaves of bread. The varieties of flour can be used to produce a number of products (bread, pastries, cakes, pasta, biscuits, etc.). One of the more exciting possibilities is making pizza dough to combine with the pizza sauce project already running, bringing campus dining very near an entirely locally produced pizza product.Attached Files:
This is a multi-pronged project with four areas of focus, all working toward our eventual goal of being a Zero Waste Campus.
The largest portion of funding is going to add new recycling bins to areas north and east of the Main Quad as an expansion of the dual-bin recycling system currently used. The Main Quad bins have been very successful and this is a timely and needed expansion.
Over the last few years, the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) has been conducting waste audits of certain campus buildings such as the Swanlund Administration Building and the Business Instructional Facility. The second part of this proposal is supporting building-specific solutions for each of the eight buildings that were audited. Staff from ISTC will work with building stakeholders to identify how to reduce their waste, then implement the new measures.
Several other new waste streams, such as nitrile gloves and Styrofoam, have been added to campus’s waste diversion efforts recently. The third part of this proposal will employ student employees to conduct campuswide outreach with buildings on campus to improve participation in these new initiatives.
Finally, a small amount of money is being set aside for education and outreach to the campus community regarding zero waste efforts. This will largely occur via social media advertisements and digital signage, and will be developed in conjunction with SSC’s own subcommittee for marketing.Attached Files:
The Bevier Café is a learning laboratory where Food Science and Human Nutrition (FSHN) students get hands on experience running a food service establishment. The goal of this project is to reduce the café’s waste stream by adding reusable to-go containers as an option for customers.
Customers will have the ability to opt in to the program through a small upfront cost, which will cover all costs associated with cleaning and replacing the containers as needed. In return, they will receive a discount on any meal they take to go in a reusable container as well as the knowledge they helped reduce the campus’s waste footprint.
Parking Lot E37 (near the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center and Natural History Survey) currently lacks sufficient lighting to meet minimum light requirements, but unfortunately is located in a low-priority area located away from current electrical access. The use of standalone solar-powered lights for parking is an innovative solution that allows the system to remain off-grid while improving illumination for the lots – which in turn improves campus safety. There are currently no other universities in Illinois utilizing solar-powered parking lot lighting, allowing the University of Illinois to lead the way in one aspect of sustainability.Attached Files:
- Associated Project(s):
This project provides Illini Urban Farmers with a hydroponics systems for our club to learn more about urban farming and grow student effort on campus. Once an understanding is developed on how the system functions, efforts can be expanded for use within campus dining halls, dorms, or other buildings. The university will benefit from having this system because it will provide a feasibility study of using these systems on a college campus for year round sustainable food production.
Implemented in October 2014 at the Homecoming football game, the Game Day Recycling Challenge at UIUC brought together hundreds of volunteers from all over the Urbana-Champaign community to assist the thousands of spectators at the game in reducing waste – from the money spent sending materials to landfill to the volume of materials that impact our water, air, and soil. This event was part of a national competition divided up by conference and division, and at the end of the day a waste diversion rate of 60% was achieved.
After a hiatus in 2015, the Game Day Recycling Challenge hopes to return to even greater success. In addition to reducing the waste products from a single football game, this project will work to change fans’ habits and permanently alter the waste stream of Division of Intercollegiate Athletics events from landfilling all waste to a more sustainable multi-stream systemAttached Files:
- Associated Project(s):
The Veterinary Diagnostic Lab (VDL) at the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) functions similar to a human medical institution, in that it generates waste that is not recyclable due to biosafety considerations. This is an unfortunate waste. This project seeks to begin recycling some of VDL’s plastics. This project’s goal is to capture the waste from their work that involves single use sterile pipette tip boxes, which are safe to be recycled. The VDL typically disposes of 12lbs a week of clean plastics in the form of pipette tip boxes; VDL operates 52 weeks a year, generating over 600lbs a year of recyclable plastics. With funding from the SSC, VDL can take 600lbs of plastic out of the waste stream using a clean pipette tip recycling program.
In keeping with recent sustainability projects currently underway, Allerton Park would like to install a Clivus Multrum compost toilet system at the park’s Schroth Trailhead, providing park volunteers, trail-hikers and other visitors the ability to use the restroom in an environmentally sustainable and convenient manner without needing to travel all the way to the Visitor Center to do so. Allerton would like to install permanent restroom facilities at the Schroth trailhead, replacing the need to rent portable restrooms for every outdoor event or volunteer day. The addition of the Clivus Multrum compost toilet will provide Allerton with a much-needed restroom facility located at the Schroth Trailhead while at the same time providing University of Illinois students and members of the general public the opportunity to learn about the technology available that can help society manage waste sustainably. Additionally, the compost created by the compost toilet may be used directly on park grounds or integrated into the compost system at the Diversified Farm at the park’s northeast edge, augmenting the quality of the present compost system.
In accordance with the explicit goals of the Allerton Park Climate Action Plan (apCAP), Allerton Park aims to install an augmented park-wide recycling collection system. The project is a critical component of the larger Solid Waste Diversion Plan, currently under development by Urban Planning Masters student, Tony Herhold. The goal of the project is to provide park visitors and staff with the opportunity to dispose waste in an environmentally sound, sustainable manner. By providing receptacles for the multiple waste streams accounted for in the park waste audits performed in the fall of 2014 and spring of 2015 alongside new waste collection protocols, park staff will now be able to recycle or compost waste that would otherwise be directed to the landfill. Allerton seeks funding for nine Super Sorter receptacles form Busch Systems, based in Canada. The four-stream receptacles are built from 66-99% recycled plastic materials and are themselves 100% recyclable. The remaining funding will go toward purchasing indoor receptacles for various office locations throughout the park as well as signage for the receptacles. The goal of the project will be to make it as easy, or easier, to recycle waste than it is to throw it into the landfill waste receptacle. Clear signage signaling what types of waste should be deposited into the specific receptacles as well as deterrent signage (e.g. â€œLANDFILL WASTEâ€ on trash cans instead of the typical â€œWasteâ€) will help to deter improper waste disposal. The goal of this project is to further develop the relationship between the university, the Illini Algae Club and its students, the Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department as well as other departments, and the Abbott Power Plant. Using a pre-established waste to algae remediation system used in experimental design, we will apply this system to a real-world use. We will do this through the use of a semester project focused on remediation of university wastewater that can be scaled up into a larger scale project in the future that the club can build off of. Allerton’s goal is to provide the foundation of active student involvement for which our organization can grow.
The project calls for clear, concise signage and information pamphlets/posters on and around the waste stations. The goal is to make it as easy, or easier, to recycle than to dispose of trash in a landfill waste receptacle (which will still be available), and with access to an array of receptacles for new waste streams, park visitors and staff should have no issues.
- Associated Project(s):
The goal of this project is to further develop the relationship between the university, the Illini Algae Club and its students, the Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department as well as other departments, and the Abbott Power Plant. Using a pre-established waste to algae remediation system used in experimental design, we will apply this system to a real-world use. We will do this through the use of a semester project focused on remediation of university wastewater that can be scaled up into a larger scale project in the future that the club can build off of. Our goal is to provide the foundation of active student involvement for which our organization can grow.
We will do this by first analyzing how well our small-scale systems can work with the local Abbot Power Plant waste. This further enhances our cooperative relationship with the Abbott Power Plant. Once we determine feasibility of the system, then the students can design and build a larger scale system at the local power plant that can reduce their waste as well as produce some renewable energy for the university. This will provide the ability of students to make their own choices with our small-scale experiment as well as allow them to create a vision of their own for the club’s future larger scale activities.
- Associated Project(s):
This project is intended to permanently set up styrofoam (expanded polystyrene, or EPS) recycling on the UIUC campus for the first time. This project aims to emulate a very successful program at the University of Wisconsin at Madison; some funding has already been secured for student support and supplies from UW as part of an EPA grant that students and postdocs there have received. The key difference between UIUC and UW is that UW had the benefit of a local styrofoam recycler, and UIUC does not have that benefit: the closest recycler is in Indianapolis and the cost of transporting undensified EPS is too high for this to be viable. This project will establish a partnership with Community Resource, Inc. in Urbana, who have agreed to handle all of the logistics of picking up styrofoam from large containers (“gaylords”) in campus buildings, transporting it to their site, feeding it into a machine called a “densifier”, and selling the densified material to a company in Chicago. Community Resource, Inc. will in return pay back a portion of the proceeds from the sales in order to support student interns on campus who will promote and support the program. The goal of this project is to establish a self-supporting program that will ultimately capture most of the styrofoam waste from our campus and recycle it, while supporting student interns to oversee and continually improve the program.Attached Files:
- Award Letter - Styrofoam Densifier
- FW - SSC Phase 1 - Styrofoam Recycling.xlsx
- FW - SSC Step 2 - Styrofoam Densifier - Quote.pdf
- FW - SSC Step 2 - Styrofoam Densifier - Support Letter 1.pdf
- FW - SSC Step 2 - Styrofoam Densifier - Support Letter 2.pdf
- FW - SSC Step 2 - Styrofoam Densifier.xlsx
- Associated Project(s):
Global Arts Performance Initiatives is pleased to present a final proposal for a series of sustainability-themed arts programs in the 2015-16 academic year that serve the educational mission of the Student Sustainability Committee. The principal event of the proposal is Sonified Sustainability Fest – a celebration of ecological music and arts, presented in the lobby, Stage 5 and amphitheater of Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.
This all ages event, offered admission free to campus and community audiences, will feature live music and interactive art making focused on sustainable practices in the arts, accompanied by an information fair that will provide greater visibility of local projects, programs and organizations working towards a sustainable future. National and local musicians performing on original instruments made from recycled and repurposed materials will be showcased at the fest, as well as in two preceding concerts of the Sudden Sound Concert Series at Krannert Art Museum, all scheduled as part, or promotion of Sustainability Week 2015 and EarthWeek 2016.Attached Files:
- Award Letter - Sonified Sustainability Festival
- ED - SSC - Step 2 - Sonified Fest - Budget.pdf
- ED - SSC - Step 2 - Sonified Fest - CV.pdf
- ED - SSC - Step 2 - Sonified Fest - KCPA Support Letter.pdf
- ED - SSC - Step 2 - Sonified Fest - Narrative.pdf
- ED - SSC - Step 2 - Sonified Fest - Shipping Cost Estimate.pdf
- ED - SSC - Step 2 - Sonified Fest.xlsx
- ED - SSC Phase 1 - Sonified Sustainability Fest Budget.docx
- ED - SSC Phase 1 - Sonified Sustainability Fest CV.pdf
- ED - SSC Phase 1 - Sonified Sustainability Fest.xlsx
This project is to build and test a scaled-down prototype of the electrical system of a solar car. The major parts of this prototype are the solar array, maximum power point trackers (MPPT), rechargeable batteries, and a load. The solar array will be made of flexible silicon crystalline solar cells encapsulated (to protect from debris and enhance performance) and mounted on a contoured composite panel that mimics the surface of our car body. The applicant will design and build our own MPPT which is a variable DC/DC boost converter that raises the voltage of their array. The MPPT has a feedback loop control to ensure maximum output from the array under different insolation and temperatures. The rechargeable batteries will be Li-ion batteries that will act as a buffer energy source when sunlight is not available or is insufficient to power the system. Although Li-ion batteries have a high energy density, they require a battery management system to ensure safe and optimal operation. Thus, they will purchase a battery management system that is suitable for our car. Lastly, the energy generated by the solar array will power a load, which will be a motor planned to be borrowed from another team.Attached Files:
- Award Letter - Solar Car.pdf
- EN - Solar Car Prototype Full Project CS Letter.pdf
- EN - Solar Car Prototype Full Project EDC Letter.pdf
- EN - Solar Car Prototype Full Project Step 2.xlsx
- EN - Solar Car Prototype Photos.docx
- EN - Solar Car Prototype Small Project Support.docx
- EN - Solar Car Prototype Small Project.xlsx
This project was developed by Eco-mmunity, a team of students passionate about sustainability, after noticing that students were not recycling within the residence halls. After further research, interviews, and observations of facilities and processes we noticed that it all came down to students’ convenience. After completing a pilot study we recognized that if students had the option to sort their trash and recycling in their room, they were much more likely to participate in recycling. With recycling bins placed in each student’s individual room, alongside their trash bin, students could conveniently dump them into their corresponding bins in the trash rooms at the end of the hallway. The goal of this project is to create positive long lasting habits that residents and students will continue to use after leaving University Housing. We also hope that this larger awareness and convenience of recycling will stimulate and promote more recycling around campus, as well as set a standard for other non-University Housing and private certified residencies to follow.
The Makers UIUC Bike Seat Project is a student-centered venture to design, produce, and distribute an environmentally-friendly and economical bike seat cover in order to promote biking on campus. By providing a way of protecting bicycle seats, we are addressing the problems of biking in adverse weather conditions. Our intention is not only to design a product made with environmentally friendly materials, but to encourage the use of eco-friendly transportation as a whole.