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All Project Updates


  1. Food Handling info from SSF

    Associated Project(s): 

    Matt Turino at the Sustainable Student Farm provided this overview of the food waste handling / transportation related to the Vermicompost project.

    "So we only collected Pre-consumer waste from Busey-Evans so only the things that were cut off the usuable parts of vegetables and fruits.  We had special  30 gallon trash cans that only existed in the kitchen of the Busey-Evans so there was almost never other kinds of trash.  If we saw some while handling we would remove it but we did not need to sort it.

    We had no packaging or animal products in the compost.

    We used a pick up truck to transport the containers and we did not have a good way to load these.  We often had to lift 50-90 lb trash containers up into the truck bed, and us not having the correct equipment contributed to it not being a sustainable program for us.  The waste was extremely wet and so something that made it tricky to handle and and to transport.  We were using leaves from U of I landscaping for the Brown material.

    I did not track the cost of our transportation because we would often drop our produce off and pick up the waste on the same trip.  We were driving a pickup truck about 3 miles per trip 2-3 times a week.  We were picking up between 60-100 gallons of food waste per week during the semester. 

    Also we were using a vermi-compost unit which was not the most effective system for this, if you wanted to do a composting set up I would recommend a larger windrow set up."

  2. Illinois Student Government Resolution Feb 2018 for Recycled-Content Paper

    Associated Project(s): 

    The Illinois Student Government (ISG) recently passed a resolution to reduce paper waste. The ISG resolved to be more committed to creating a sustainable campus through the creation of the Committee on Environmental Sustainability. Some other key resolution points:

    • The ISG commits to minimizing paper waste by restricting printing to instances in which electronic sharing presents a significant inconvenience
    • The Senate urged the Office of Business and Financial Services (OBFS) to remove virgin paper as an option available for purchase through the iBuy system
  3. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, last week was pretty quiet. Made some progress on a construction project: A member came in on Thursday and we affixed the tool pegboard to a more secure structure than just having it hang on the sewage pipes as it was before. Now it’s screwed into some 2x4s that are hung from the ceiling. This in turn actually bumped it back a few inches, providing a smidge more room, something that is always welcome.

    This week that same volunteer will come in on Tuesday morning and we’ll begin construction on some more shelving directly behind the tool wall to facilitate better storage options for new and used parts. I will then paint the new shelves to make them easier to ID and distinguish. Informal poll of staff thus far: 2 votes for pink.

    CBC will be closed tomorrow (Tuesday) for a staff meeting. I’ll put that on the website and Facebook.


    Visitors: 37
    Sales: $182.68
    Memberships: 1 for $30
    (No bike sales)


    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  4. Tour FSHN Pilot Plant with SSC

    At this year's Explore ACES, join the Student Sustainability Committee (SSC) and the Food Science & Human Nutrition (FSHN) Pilot Plant for a special SSC tour of the Pilot Plant facility! The plant gives students an experiential opportunity to test new food processing technologies, examine nutritional breakdowns, and contribute to the local food system. This special SSC tour will explore flour milling, tomato sauce processing, hot sauce processing, and more! You'll even get to taste hot sauce with peppers produced at the Sustainable Student Farm. We look forward to seeing you on March 9th at 9:15am, 11:00am, or 1:30pm. Signup here:

  5. potential to add solar on Oak Street library

    Associated Project(s): 

    There is a grant for helping libraries go green, which could potentially support solar at the Oak Street facility.

    EBSCO has expanded this year’s EBSCO Solar Grant. For the first time, it will provide three $100,000 grants to libraries looking to install solar arrays. If you’re eager to show your community the benefits of solar energy or to add to your sustainability plans, consider applying to the EBSCO Solar Grant now through April 30th. The winner will be announced on June 22nd, 2018, both online and at ALA Annual 2018.

  6. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, still slow here. One of the student staff finished the three-wheeled bike and rode it home. That was easily the highlight of the week. Sale bikes are creeping upward but I’ve been selling a few here and there as well. Hovering around 20 total. I had Evan, a student worker, come in last week and help with shop builds.

    This week I will send out email alerts/reminders to all the current build-a-bikers that their tags are out-of-date. No one has been in to work on their bike since before Winter Break. One or two have come to update their tags but that’s been it. I’ll give them a week to reply and then transition those bikes to shop builds, which should help our stock of for-sale bikes.

    Sales: $455
    Bikes (refurb): 2 for $270
    Bikes (b-a-b): 1 for $68
    Visitors for the week: 26


    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  7. Pollinator pocket maps

    Associated Project(s): 

    Sustainability staff asked Lesley Deem at the Pollinatarium if the proposed pollinator pockets should be within a specific distance of each other, such as every half mile. Ms. Deem replied, “I think if we put them in the best spots available there will be enough coverage. For example, honey bees can fly for a few miles to find food. They use up less of their energy if it is closer but they should be able to find it even it is a mile or two away.”

  8. Water and Stormwater SWATeam Meeting 2/6/2018

    Meeting topics included potential for the team to move forward with a water audit of campus buildings, ways that nitrogen runoff could be monitored, and incentives the Parking Department would have in following through with adding green infrastructure to parking projects.

    Attached Files: 
  9. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, last week was uneventful. Monday was the Bike Project Members’ Meeting which went well. The shop is still predictably slow. I’ve had good, consistent volunteer help this week. Cleaning and organizing is going very well because of them. Tubes are almost completely organized and sized, storage for new parts is coming along as well. Currently for sale are 19 bikes and should be 21 by the end of today.

    Business as usual this week as far as building bikes and organizing.

    Visitors: 30
    Sales: $155
    Memberships: 1 for $30


    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  10. Join the Student Sustainability Committee

    Student members are appointed by the Illinois Student Government each spring for the following academic year. Student members serve a one-year term. To apply, please complete an application at

    The Student Sustainability Committee is a group of 12 students dedicated to improving sustainability at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. With the help of 10 faculty and staff that serve as member-advisors, the committee meets to review and vote on what projects receive funding and check in on those projects that have already received funding. Using two student fees, the Sustainable Campus Environment Fee and the Cleaner Energy Technologies Fee, SSC reviews submitted projects and distributes funding to projects that is deemed most beneficial to the University of Illinois. Both of these student fees bring in over $1.1 million annually, which is one of the largest sustainability fund of its kind in the United States.

  11. Final project reports for Fall 2017

    The CEE 398 Project Based Learning and the Sustainability Minor's ENVS 492 Capstone students completed their nine fall 2017 reports.

    There were five projects completed for capstone partners:

    1. Energy Dashboards for Accenture
    2. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for Johnson Controls
    3. Food Hub Study for The Land Connection
    4. Sensors and Green Buildings for CERL
    5. Biomass Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) for Chip Energy

    There were four other projects completed by CEE students:

    1. Rain Garden Design
    2. Solar and Green Roofs Analysis
    3. Food Waste to Energy
    4. ADA Sidewalk Repair Cost Analysis